Napping at work has been making headlines. For good reason too. Are you frequently tired and unable to shake that feeling like you just didn’t get enough sleep the night before? You’re not alone. When your day seems to be dragging on, it really can help your well-being to just take a nap.
We have all been there before, at work, or at home, it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and you can barely keep your eyes open. All you want to do is curl up under your desk or on your bed and go to sleep.
Experts say you should nap, but for how long? Dr. Johnathan Tait from Rejuv Medical Southwest says that 20-minutes is the sweet spot for an effective power nap. That means you wake up and feel more energized and less groggy. But if you are feeling bad about sleeping on the job, or in the middle of the day, think about this. A 20-minute nap can improve your mental state about the way you feel and think by 40 percent.
Dr. Jonathan Tait’s Response is Clear
“You can’t run at a high-level indefinitely,” expresses Jonathan Tait, DO of Rejuv Medical Southwest. “Yet, that is what we ask our body to do from a performance standpoint during our workday. If we never have an ebb n’ flow cycles to our workday, then our performance suffers.” Give your brain a break with a nap. “At some point, we will tap out and our pace will slow.” Shares Dr. Tait, as he compares it to running, “our brains will do the same, if we don’t give it a break.”
So, keeping your nap to 20-minutes is the key. With the challenge being able to actually relax your mind enough to fall asleep. Something Dr. Tait says is an art, “Think about relaxing everything from the top down. Start with your head, your neck, your shoulders, your trunk, your extremities, knees, etc., you are slowly thinking about these muscles and letting the tension leave those muscles.”
The best time for a nap is between 1 o’clock and 3 o’clock in the afternoon, or 8-hours after waking up in the morning. Also, by darkening the room, your body will have a better chance of producing melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. Set your alarm and do not oversleep. A nap longer than 20-minutes will leave you feeling groggy.