Do you ever feel like you need a little nap to recharge your batteries during the day? If so, you’re not alone. Many people swear by the power of a power nap — a short sleep that can make you feel more energized, happier, and productive.
But how long should you nap for? And when is the best time to do it? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the ideal power nap duration and how it can affect your nap quality and your productivity. We’ll also share some of the amazing benefits of power napping and how it can improve your health and well-being.
Power Nap Duration
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you should nap for. It depends on a lot of factors, such as how your sleep cycle works, circadian rhythm, sleep debt and what you want to get out of your nap. When you sleep, you go through different stages of sleep, from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep. The length of your power nap can determine which stages of sleep you reach and how refreshed you feel when you wake up.
According to research, the ideal power nap duration is between 10 and 20 minutes. Short naps lasting up to 30 minutes may also provide benefits depending on what time of day you take the nap and how tired you were beforehand. The longer you nap, the more likely you are to enter slow wave sleep. Waking from slow wave sleep can cause a groggy feeling known as sleep inertia.
Here are some tips for choosing the best power nap duration for your situation:
The 10-minute power nap
If you need a quick pick-me-up, a 10-minute power nap can do the trick. It can give you a burst of energy and alertness that can last for several hours. It’s also easy to fit into a busy schedule. And because it’s so short, you won’t enter deep sleep or feel groggy when you wake up.
The 20-minute power nap
If you want to get the most out of your power nap, aim for 20 minutes. This is the ideal power nap length for most people. It allows you to enter light sleep and get benefits like improved memory and reduced stress. It can also boost your mood and performance for up to three hours after waking up.
The 30-minute power nap
If you’re feeling extra tired or have more time to spare, a 30-minute power nap can be a good option. It can provide similar benefits to a 20-minute nap but may also help you relax more deeply. However, it may also make you feel groggy when you wake up because you might enter deeper stages of sleep.
The 60-minute power nap
If you want to improve your memory and learning skills, a 60-minute power nap can help. It allows you to enter deep sleep and can enhance your ability to remember and recall information. However, it may also make you feel groggy when you wake up.
The 90-minute power nap
If you want to experience a full sleep cycle, including REM sleep, a 90-minute power nap can be ideal. It can provide benefits like improved creativity and emotional regulation. However, it may be hard to find time for such a long nap during the day.
When we take a power nap, we enter a cycle of different stages of sleep that vary in depth and intensity — some are light and easy to wake up from, while others are deep and restorative. A complete cycle of sleep usually lasts for about 90 minutes, but not all naps need to be that long. In fact, napping for too long can have a negative effect on our alertness and mood. That’s because longer naps can cause us to sink into a deep sleep(1) that’s difficult to get out of, leaving us feeling groggy and disoriented when we wake up.
Best Power Nap Time
Do you wonder when to power nap for the best results? Well, it depends on a lot of things, but generally speaking, the best time to take a power nap is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m(2). That’s when most of us feel a natural drop in our energy levels and need a little boost. But be careful not to nap too late in the day, because that can mess up your sleep cycle and your circadian rhythm or internal body clock. Napping after 4 p.m. is usually a bad idea, unless you have a good reason for it.
Of course, not everyone has the same schedule or lifestyle, so the ideal time for a power nap may vary from person to person. For example, if you work from 9 to 5, you might want to nap before or during the “post-lunch slump”, which is typically between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m(3). That way, you can avoid feeling sleepy and unproductive at work. For those working during the day, naps after 4 p.m. are not ideal. But if you work night shifts or have a different routine, the ideal time for a power nap may be earlier or later .
Power Nap Benefits
Do you want to know why power napping is so awesome? Well, let me tell you. Power napping can do wonders for your health and performance. It can make you feel more energized, smarter, happier, calmer, sharper, focused, and ready to learn(8). But not all power naps are created equal. The length of your power nap can make a big difference in how you feel and what you achieve. Power nap duration matters a lot.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the science. Studies have proven that power napping can beat caffeine(4) when it comes to boosting your alertness. For example, NASA did an experiment with pilots and found that a 26-minute nap increased their alertness by 54% and their performance by 34%(5). That’s pretty impressive, don’t you think?
Power Nap at Work
Power napping at work can be a great way to recharge your mind and body during the day. It can help you feel more refreshed and productive(6) at work. But it can also be tricky. You need to find a good spot to nap, avoid getting disturbed, and convince your co-workers and boss that you’re not being lazy. How can you do that? Let me give you some tips.
First, you need to find a good place to nap. Ideally, your company should have a nap room or a nap pod where you can rest comfortably and privately. But if that’s not the case, you can look for other options. Maybe there’s an empty meeting room or a cozy couch in the lounge that you can use. Just make sure you don’t nap on your desk or in front of your computer. That’s not very professional.
Second, you need to avoid distractions. You don’t want to be woken up by loud noises or bright lights. So, you can use some tools to help you sleep better. For example, you can wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to block out the sound and an eye mask to cover your eyes. You can also set an alarm to wake you up after your power nap.
Third, you need to deal with your colleagues or boss. Some people may think that power napping at work is a sign of laziness or poor performance. But that’s not true. Power napping at work can actually improve your work quality and efficiency. You can explain to them the benefits of power napping and how it can boost your energy, memory, creativity, mood, stress levels, alertness, concentration, learning ability, and more. You can also tell them how long your power nap duration is and how it affects your outcome.
Power napping at work can be challenging but also rewarding. If you follow these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of a power nap without any hassle.
How Some Companies Make Power Napping Easier and More Fun
Power napping is not only good for you, but also good for your employer. That’s why some companies or organizations(7) support or encourage their employees to take a short snooze during the day. They even provide them with fancy nap pods and hammocks to make their naps more comfortable and enjoyable.
For instance, Zappos, the online shoe retailer, has a unique nap room that features massage chairs surrounded by a custom-built aquarium called “The Tank”. How cool is that? Google, the tech giant, has also invested in a special EnergyPod designed by MetroNaps for its employees. This pod has a reclining seat, a privacy visor, and soothing sounds to help you relax. Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods company, has a similar space for power napping at its offices, equipped with EnergyPods by MetroNaps.
Other companies that encourage power napping include Nike, the sports brand, Pizza Hut, the fast-food chain, and Thrive Global, Inc., the well-being company. They all provide special rooms with specially designed chairs for snoozing. These companies understand that power napping can boost their employees’ energy, productivity, creativity, and happiness.
Power Nap for Studying
If you’re a student or a learner who wants to ace your exams or master new skills, you might want to try power napping. Power napping can do wonders for your brain and learning ability. It can help you remember things better, recall them faster, solve problems easier, and understand concepts clearer. But how long should you nap for? Power nap duration matters a lot. Depending on your goals and needs, you can choose a shorter or longer nap to get the best results.
To sum up, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you should nap for. It depends on a lot of things, like how your sleep cycle works, what your natural body clock tells you, how much sleep you’re missing out on, and what you want to get out of your nap. But if you nap for the right amount of time at the right time of day, you can enjoy the amazing benefits of power napping. Power napping can make you feel more refreshed and productive, whether you’re studying or working. It can also improve your mood, memory, creativity, and more. So, what are you waiting for? Find your ideal power nap duration and start snoozing!
- “Should You Take Power Naps?” Last Updated on November 11, 2021 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/power-naps/
- “Mastering the art of the power nap” Last Updated on Aug 23, 2022 https://www.sleepcycle.com/how-to-fall-asleep/mastering-the-art-of-the-power-nap/
- “What to know about power naps” Last Updated on May 28, 2021 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/power-naps
- “Why Napping is Better Than Coffee When You Need a Midday Boost” Last Updated on October 14, 2019 https://www.hawaiipacifichealth.org/healthier-hawaii/live-healthy/why-napping-is-better-than-coffee-when-you-need-a-midday-boost/
- “What’s the ideal length for a catnap? Research from NASA offers a very specific answer.” Last Updated on February 25, 2020 https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/nasa-napping-just-26-minutes-can-improve-job-performance-by-a-third.html
- “Power Naps Increase Productivity In The Workplace” Last Updated on December 1, 2021 https://napzzz.com/power-naps-increase-productivity-in-the-workplace
- “5 Companies That Let You Take Power Naps at Work” Last Updated on June 20, 2022 https://www.jumpstartmag.com/5-companies-that-let-you-take-power-naps-at-work/
- “Power Nap: How It Works, How To Use It And Its Benefits.” Last Updated on February 2, 2022 https://fcer.org/power-nap/