The length of time a person takes a nap varies considering the age, stress level and sleep cycle of an individual. It suffice to say, taking a nap is normal for every human being; taking an afternoon nap can be very helpful to refresh the body and calm the mind especially if the nature of your job is stressful.
However, nap shouldn’t be more than 20-30 minutes depending on the age of an individual. Webster defines nap as a ‘brief sleep during the day’. This article addresses how long it takes to have a proper nap, its difference with sleep and its health benefits.
THE LENGTH OF A PROPER NAP
It is important to understand that there is no defined length to having a proper nap but the national sleep foundation recommend that a 20 minutes nap can freshen the body and calm the mind, considering the fact that nap duration varies from person to person, but most professionals agrees that shorter naps are better if a person’s goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and alert.
Sleeping vs. Napping
Wikipedia defined napping as a short period of sleep, typically taken during daytime hours as adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period. Naps are most often taken as a response to drowsiness during working hours. While sleep is defined as a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eyes movement (REM) sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but more reactive than a coma or disorder of consciousness, with sleep displaying very different and active brain patterns.
TYPES OF NAP
The CEO Nap
This is a 25 mins short nap also called the power nap. It helps boast your daily energy and mental performance. This nap is helpful and important to people that are in charge of managing a household or company and it is usually done between (1-3 pm).
The Nap A Latte™
The Nap A Latte™ combines a moderate amount of caffeine with a short period of rest, to deliver you the benefits of both at once. Here’s how it works:
• Drink a 6-to-8-ounce cup of coffee, quickly. (Add ice cubes to cool it down, if you’d like.) You want about 90-100 mg caffeine, which is roughly the content of a regular cup of coffee—not a super-sized version.
• Quickly, find a quiet place to lie down and take a 20-minute snooze. Set a timer so you don’t oversleep.
You’ll wake just as the stimulant effects of the caffeine are kicking in (roughly 20 min), having also relieved some of the sleep pressure that’s been building, making you feel tired.
The New Mom Nap
This is done when your new born is asleep, it is the time where the mom can nap for some minutes. Taking care of newborns, young children and not sleeping through the night is the experience of most mothers, and the only time they have to nap is when their baby is sleeping.
The Siesta Nap
This is an important type of nap that is usually done in the afternoon mostly in a working environment.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF NAPPING
Napping offers various benefits and they include:
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory