Catnaps – Laziness or Boosts to Productivity?

18th September 2012

We came across an interesting article from Inc about the research behind the productive power nap. Inc explore the science behind executing the perfect nap. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

In the U.S, there are companies which are making far greater steps forward than we are here in the UK. You’d be hard-pressed to find an employer who advocates on-shift naps here, but powerhouses Google and Nike are looking into the process. We know that naps can increase productivity, but the art is by optimising the maximum potential of a short, sharp, sleep.

Each person will have a different ‘window’ for the best nap, depending on your existing sleep patterns. If you’re ‘early to bed, early to rise’ kind of person; you’ll want to try and execute your power nap in the early afternoon, an hour or so past midday. If you’re a later riser and you like to wait until past midnight to hit the hay, you’ll benefit from a later nap towards the mid-afternoon.

But how long should you nap for? The shortest beneficial nap is probably around 20 minutes, which will enhance alertness and concentration, as well as heightening your mood. Drinking tea or coffee before this nap will help you wake, as caffeine kicks in around half hour after consumption.

But if you’re one of those who frequently don’t get enough sleep at night, you’ll want to try and make that up in your power-nap by nodding off for around 90 minutes. This will include all of the known phases of sleep, giving you the maximum recharge and benefits.

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