Who does not know this? It's lunchtime, you're sitting in front of the computer, your eyes are getting sluggish, your head is getting heavy: you're still trying to fight fatigue, but then the first yawn comes. Now a big coffee, some fresh air or even better: a midday nap, a Power Nap. So briefly close your eyes, put your legs up and gather your strength - then you can continue with new energy.
Power Nap - what is that actually?
The term Power Nap comes from the English language and is composed of the words "power" = power and "nap" = nap. Simply put: a Power Nap is nothing more than a nap or short or daytime nap. For children it is quite normal to take a nap during the day. Today, however, such a Power Nap sounds more dynamic and energetic for everyday office life or for truck drivers - but it is actually nothing more than a short nap during the day.
Good to know: Power Napping only makes you really fit when you sleep well at night. It does not replace your night's sleep or compensate for a sleep deficit.
What are the advantages of Power Napping?
Power Napping not only helps you to get over the midday depression and start the day with renewed concentration and energy, it also has other effects on your health and well-being, such as improved performance, good mood, more motivation and less stress.
How does real power napping work?
1. No pressure
You will probably find it difficult to fall asleep at first. Thoughts revolve around the upcoming meeting or around the household and family. Perhaps a scent, music or other ritual will relax you and clear your mind.
Power napping needs practice: try it at home on your days off. At lunchtime or in the afternoon, lie down briefly and sleep. If you incorporate this into your daily routine, you will get used to it and your body will get used to it and it will become easier and easier.
2. Find your perfect environment
The location also plays a role. If you are alone in the office, you can simply lay your head on the table in between and close your eyes. If this is not possible, then you should find a room where you are undisturbed. The most important thing is that you not only have the right place, but also the right soundscape for you. If you need complete silence, you can use earplugs for further assistance. If noise is not a problem, then nothing should prevent you from falling asleep relaxed.
Nevertheless, the rule still applies: set your smartphone to silent. Even if noise does not bother you, the need to take a quick look at it can still prevent you from sleeping.
3. Sitting, semi-seated or lying
In the best case, a midday nap should preferably be taken sitting down. If you lie down, you may not be able to get up and a few minutes may turn into hours. It is therefore advisable to take a sitting or half-sitting nap, depending on where you are. In the office, simply place your arms on the desk and your head on top of them. Semi-seated is ideal when you are taking a break in the car at a rest area or if you have an adjustable armchair. Tilt your seat or backrest back a little and you can close your eyes and relax.
4. Think of the time
Set an alarm clock or a timer so that the Power Nap does not turn into a deep sleep.
5. Get your circulation going
You've just woken up, of course you need to get your bearings and get going again. It can be helpful if you take a few steps. Walk through the hall, take a short walk in the fresh air and treat yourself to a coffee. Even if you are in the car: Get out of the car, take a walk, stretch and shake your body for once. And then you can drive on.
Tip: have a coffee or black tea before the nap. These drinks contain caffeine and do not work immediately. Both take about 20 minutes. Drink your coffee or tea, take your nap, and when you get up, you should be in top shape.
How long does a Power Nap last?
The usual Power Nap duration is between 10 and 20 minutes.
Your nap should not take longer than this. This allows your body to move from the resting phase back into the productive phase. The reason for this is that during a short nap the REM stage, i.e. the deep sleep phase, is not reached and your mind is fully operational more quickly.
Even with 30 minutes, you are still within a reasonable range. The difference is, however, that you may feel a little dazed after waking up. The longer you sleep, the sooner you will enter the deep sleep phase and be torn out again by your alarm clock.
Power napping for up to 90 minutes is therefore hardly a power nap. This is because your blood pressure drops from just one hour onwards and the REM phase sets in. The deep sleep phase, in which you start dreaming. Nevertheless, longer sleep has its good points: your body goes through all sleep phases, and you will definitely be well rested afterwards. Maybe you need a short moment to wake up - but you should be able to get down to work immediately, strengthened and full of energy.
We recommend this: Stick to the short version. Your midday nap should not last longer than 20 minutes. Waking up is easier, and you will definitely get an energy boost.
Power Napping in everyday working life
Power Naps are becoming more and more popular. Recreational methods are not only known from meditation. Superiors know about the efficiency. Good employees should be well rested. Not only in the morning, but also in the afternoon. So integrate your Power Nap skillfully into the daily work routine. Remember that you prepare yourself mentally and, above all, that you choose a place that allows you to rest.
Power Nap in your home office - make sure you set your alarm clock
A power nap at home sounds nice, but it is definitely more difficult than in the office. If you get tired, the way to your own bed is very short. A nap can then easily turn into a deep sleep. Precise planning is important here.
Never rely on your inner clock: set your timer or alarm clock. Do not go to bed, but stay in your study. And get up immediately when you hear the doorbell ring.
Here too, practice is the way to success. Then the Power Nap can also become the instrument for more energy and performance in your home office.
What else helps with tiredness during the day?
To generally feel less tired in everyday life, good dietary supplements can be helpful. So if you are already suffering from fatigue, it is important that you give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs. Supplements such as iron and vitamin B12 help to maintain normal energy metabolism and help relieve fatigue. But iron can do more than that: it strengthens normal cognitive abilities, promotes a normal immune system and helps your body transport oxygen. Vitamin B12 is involved in the formation of your red blood cells and also has a healthy influence on your nervous system and mental function.
Power Naps save lives
You have probably heard of car accidents in which the driver fell into a microsleep. If the driver had done a Power Nap beforehand, some accidents could have been avoided. The rule of thumb is: at the first sign of fatigue, it is essential to take a break or even change drivers - if that is possible. Special care should be taken with long-distance drivers or people who work many night shifts and drive a car. Sometimes a good night's sleep is not enough, so if you feel that this is the case, take some time off. You are not only protecting yourself, but also the people around you.
Try out Power Napping
To get through the day in a consistently focused manner, power napping is indispensable. Whenever possible, give yourself the peace and quiet you need in between times. The 20 minutes can work wonders. For the right energy boost, this time is completely sufficient. You can achieve more and also enjoy your everyday life much more relaxed.
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Picture: istockphoto.com / Deagreez