For #WellnessWeds: 8 Benefits of Power Napping

What do Einstein, college age students, kindergarteners and me – Angie Jenkins – all have in common? Well, we all enjoy taking power naps. I love having something in common with Einstein.

I prefer taking a snooze on the weekends or right after work (especially since I am pregnant).

Rest on the Benefits

Current research shows that taking a power nap that is 15 to 20 minutes long in the afternoon during work hours will boost brain power, reset bodily systems, and help you become more productive for the rest of the day. Other benefits include:

  1. Less stress
  2. Increased alertness
  3. Improved memory
  4. Heightened learning
  5. Increased creativity
  6. Good for the heart
  7. Motivation to exercise
  8. Make up for a bad night’s sleep

I know when I wake up from a power nap I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to tackle the next part of the day. In an effort to ensure you wake up from the nap feeling refreshed and not groggy, the biggest rule to follow is to limit the power nap to 15 to 20 minutes I think this will help take away the stigma that napping is for lazy people. Napping is for people who are generally tired and really need to catch a few z’s.

You Snooze – You Win

Since we have become a 24/7 society, more and more employers are considering giving employees opportunities for a short power nap at work. The benefits outweigh the negatives as you can see from the above list. Many employers are even providing snoozing lounges for their employees. This is more common when employees work 12 to 16 hour shifts. There are also special chairs that employers can research to make employee naps more comfortable.

For the past few years, a majority of employers have focused on diet and exercise education for their employees in the workplace, which I completely support – but, I also think there can be some education on the importance of sleep.

Your Rhythm

Have you ever wondered why on the weekends or on vacations you still wake up around the same time you do during the regular work week? This is due the circadian rhythm or “internal clock”, which helps set a person’s cycle of waking and sleeping. The typical circadian rhythm starts to slow, or dip, mid-afternoon around 3 to 4pm. This is a good time to get caffeine and/or a snack because our bodies are trying to stay awake and alert.

Power naps are not for everyone. There are some people who just can’t settle down during the day for this type of break. So, if you don’t fall asleep right away, power napping may not be for you. Taking 5 to 10 minutes to fall asleep defeats the purpose and doesn’t give you the time to really rest.

I am clearly in favor of employers allowing employees to take naps. Do you agree that power naps can make you more productive during the work day? Should employers support naps? Do you think this is a beneficial way to get needed rest, especially if you have children or work long hours?

Photo credit: gemsling Resource: Health Day; WebMD

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  1. I take nap when I need one in the mid afternoon, especially if I know I am going to have a long evening. It has to be fairly short…20 mins. or so. I naturall fall into it and naturally come out of it. As a stay at home mom and part time yoga teacher, it really works into my schedule quite well. I feel much more productive and alert after it and am able to continue with my work long into the evening.

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