Health Tip of the Week

Benefits of power napping

A 10- to 20-minute afternoon power nap can improve your concentration and sharpen your motor skills.

Daytime naps can be one way to treat sleep deprivation, says Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping,” she says. “You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.”  

After waking from your power nap, you will likely enjoy:

  • Improved concentration and alertness.
  • Better memory recall
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Increased stamina
  • Sharpened motor skills  

You run the risk of entering slow-wave sleep if you nap for longer than 30 minutes. This can be counterproductive, as many people feel sluggish after waking up from slow-wave sleep. On the other hand, every person is different so a longer nap may leave you feeling refreshed. My advice to my patients is to experiment with different nap lengths until they find what works best for them. Find a safe and private place to power nap. If you’re like most people, your office doesn’t have a designated room for napping. So where can you find an isolated and relaxing location to help you fall asleep? Any of the following places may fit the bill:

  • Your office.
  • Conference room.
  • Gym.
  • Parked car.

The key to a successful power nap is to fall asleep quickly. Regardless of where you choose to power nap, these tips can help you quickly fall asleep:

  • See your Chiropractor regularly.
  • Ditch your phone.
  • Try white noise.
  • Eat right. Nap after lunch.
  • Establish a routine.
  • Grab a blanket.

Hopefully the above guidelines will help you figure out how best to incorporate a power nap into your daily routine and enjoy the benefits of sharper thinking throughout the second half of the day.

Jennifer Soong & Spine Blog


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