How To Power Nap at Night: Getting the Most Out of a Busy Schedule
When we’re living in a 24-hour world, the power nap can be your secret weapon.
Business never sleeps, and with many people doing work all over the globe, sometimes it’s not always possible to get a full night’s sleep when you need it. So how can you keep your energy levels high when you can’t sleep for a full eight hours? It’s simple: the power nap.
The power nap can save you a number of ways. Not only is it proven to increase energy and alertness, it can even make your learning and retention better. That means that your conscious hours will be of more value to you than if you chose not to sleep at all. So what is a power nap and how can you implement it into your life? We’re here to help, so grab a blanket, set a timer, and get ready for the mini-sleep that’s going to change your life.
Stretch Your Power Nap at Night Into a Mini-Sleep Session
While most naps during the day should last between 20 and 30 minutes, you can actually sleep longer at night. A 90-minute power nap can give you a significant recharge. That’s the amount of time it takes for your body to go through a full REM sleep cycle. At its deepest state, the REM cycle gets you the deepest and most restful sleep, so timing your sleep out to hit that can give you a significant boost — more than your average power nap.
“The average person’s sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, so you either want to take a 25-30 minute nap, or you want to take a 90-minute nap, depending upon how much time you have and how you want to feel when you wake up,” says Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep scientist.
You may not have time for a full six to eight hours, but often you can find a spare hour and a half — even if you’re forced into an all-nighter. This can be the difference between being totally awake, or a total zombie at work the next morning.
Planning Ahead is Crucial — So Know When You’ll Sleep Next
While sometimes an all-nighter can creep up on us, often we’ll know ahead of time when our crazy periods of work are going to fall. If that’s the case, it behooves you to plan ahead for sleep. Dedicating that time not only makes sure that you’ll be able to get a little rest, it also guarantees that you won’t feel guilty or upset for taking it. If you know you can sleep for an hour and a half at some point, that power nap is going to be a finish line to look forward to. That can propel you, even when you’re already super sleepy.
There’s also a famous sleep technique called the polyphasic sleep technique which was evidently used by Tesla, Davinci, and other famous thinkers of their day. Polyphasic sleep basically means breaking up sleep from a solid eight hours into a bunch of mini power naps. Polyphasic sleepers take a power nap for thirty minutes every six hours or so, which leaves the practitioner only sleeping about two hours during a full 24 hour period. Sounds wild!
This technique is totally based around planning out your day so that those power naps can fall exactly every six hours. If not, the whole system falls apart. While this might seem a little intense for the average power napper, it could be a way to get the most out of your day for a short amount of time if you need peak efficiency. And remember, a little sleep is always better than no sleep, no matter how you’re doing it.
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