Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Power NAP!

On my recent post about the importance of a complete sleep and Tips on how to have a good night sleep has inspired me to give you now the importance of 'Nap'.

Nap is a short sleep, especially during the day.

The 'Nap' Stages:

The Nano-Nap: 10 to 20 seconds

Sleep studies have yet to conclude whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone's shoulder on the bus.

The Micro-Nap: 2 to 5 minutes

Shown to be surprisingly effective to shedding sleepiness.

The Mini-Nap: 5 to 20 minutes

Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning and motor performance.

The Original Power Nap: 20 minutes

Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clear the brain of useless built-up information, which helps in developing long term memory (remembering facts, events and names).

The Lazy Man's Nap: 50 to 90 minutes

Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.

There are times that we really cannot get enough sleep because of busy lifestyle. We tend to work overtime to cope-up with debt and all that. More often than not we suffer the consequences and we forgot the importance of a complete sleep.

I found these article which is good for those who lacks of sleep but still want to be alert and maintain stamina without the help of caffeine or energy drinks.

According to a research on napping by Dr. Sara Mednick of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the beneficial nap is the 20-minute nap which can improve alertness and stamina.

Less than this period, said Mednick, has minimal benefits to the brain and other body functions while longer naps, like the 50 to 90 minute nap, eat up more time from being productive. Thus, the latter ind of nap is usually called "The Lazy Man's Nap."

Mednick suggested that once should maintain the 20 minute nap in order to avail of the power nap, as there could be pitfalls in napping for longer periods. Mednick's research also reveals that one can experience sleep inertia or grogginess when he exceeds the 20 minutes or when he reaches the Stages 3-4 or the entry towards a deep or dreamless sleep that can lead to Stage 5 sleep or Rapid Eye Movement (REM), when the eyes twitch and dreaming becomes intense.

Mednick's most recent research also shows that power naps can lift productivity and mood, lower stress, and improve memory and learning.

So, the next time the boss sees you dozing off, tell him you're just powering yourself up!

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