Myth Busting Napping

If you’re like me, you rediscovered your love for naps in college when your schedule was a bit haphazard and you had a small chunk of time in the middle of the day. As an adult though, taking naps can be frowned upon and feel a little juvenile. Below we debunk some classic myths when it comes to napping and how it can actually be beneficial.

No Time to Cat Nap

If you have time to grab a coffee, a snack, and surf Facebook, you have time for a nap. Taking a 20 minute “power nap” helps to boost alertness.

Perfect Nap is 20 minutes

While 20 minutes is a power nap, there is also the 40 minute nap, the “replacement nap,” as well as the prophylactic nap, which means get into bed and sleep as long as you can. This is usually reserved for people who do shift work or those who are chronically sleep deprived. While this might seem like a great idea, we would like to mention that one person of the Tanda team took this kind of nap (by accident), slept until 8 p.m. and missed dinner with her family.

Usually the most beneficial nap is the power nap because it allows you to get enough sleep without getting the dreaded “sleep hangover” (this occurs when you take a nap longer than 20 minutes).

Napping ‘Till You Can’t Nap No More

Speaking of a sleep hangover, many people fear that they will sleep longer than intended. While technology in bed is frowned upon for nighttime sleeping, here it is your best friend. Use an alarm clock so you won’t over-nap.

Don’t Nap Too Close to Bed

This is actually true. Research shows that the ideal nap time is between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Here our circadian rhythm is at low energy levels and makes it easier to nap.

Bizarre Dreams, Party of 1

Napping puts you in a state between wakefulness and sleep or a “hypnagogic reverie.” In this state, you will have more lucid dreams and have you saying, “what a weird dream.”

All the Tabs in My Brain Won’t Close…and Where is that Music Playing From?

Ever felt like your brain was the Internet and you have 20 tabs open? (Raises hand). You aren’t alone and many people think they can’t nap because of this…but this isn’t true. The trick is consistency; take a nap at the same time every day for the same amount of time. Eventually, your brain will shut down and the music will magically stop playing.

Only Lazy People Nap

If lazy people weren’t actually so lazy and were reading this blog, they would be offended. Fortunately they aren’t but it doesn’t matter because to nap is to be human. History is littered with famous (and influential) people who espoused the benefits of napping. Don’t believe us? Take a nap and read this blog again, let us know how you feel.

Tired After Eating? There’s a Nap for That

Have you ever experienced that after lunch sleepy feeling? If so, don’t worry, it is completely normal as it is natural for people to want to sleep about 7 hours after waking up. Also, this is just your body’s natural reaction to digestion; the body requires and utilizes energy to digest. Another reason is due to the amount of insulin produced after certain meals, such as sugary foods, that can trigger sleep hormones. Overeating is another factor–eating too much can make the body feel uncomfortable, so listen to your body, and stop eating once you’re full.

How to avoid the dreaded after lunch tiredness:

Don’t Skip Breakfast

  • Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Aside from providing nutrients and giving your body a kick start, it also reduces tiredness later in the day. If you’ve had a good breakfast, it will be easier to ignore those break room donuts.

Eat Smaller Meals throughout the Day

  • Smaller meals take less time to digest. Therefore, the body will use less energy to digest and more to tackle the day ahead.

Drink Water

  • Water is the answer to everything! Water keeps the body hydrated, and dehydration can make the body feel sluggish and fatigued.

Go Outside

  • Exercise keeps you alert and the sunlight increases happiness. During lunch, it can be beneficial to get outside and go for a short walk. Exercise keeps the blood circulating and minimizes the risk of an after lunch food coma.

Take a Nap

  • Although naps sometimes represent laziness, it wouldn’t hurt to take a 20-minute power nap. It is scientifically proven that power naps help boost brain activity as well as productivity.