15 Minutes Power Nap At Work : What You Need To Know

7 min read
Published on 05 May, 2022

As humans, we do not have superhuman skills. And how well we know when to focus and when to be distracted determines how productive we can be at work. However, power napping can be your new superpower for a more productive day. It also boosts higher performance and helps you combat a stressful day at work.

The Sleep Research Society published a study that reported that during an average afternoon work hour, there is an increased rate of sleepiness and inability to stay alert, resulting in poor performance.

Sleep deprivation also affects an employee's performance. Although the idea of midday napping is still practiced in some cultures, it is still frowned upon or associated with laziness in many, especially in the US. The idea of breaking the stigma around taking a power nap and encouraging your employees to take them at work to improve their work performance can be quite interesting.

The purpose of this article is to discuss more about power naps and how to introduce the culture of taking power naps at work.

What Is A Power Nap?

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Most naps that last less than 30 minutes can provide cognitive and health benefits, and taking a short 15-minutes power nap can boost your energy and help you rejuvenate.

The term Power Nap was first coined by a sleep expert in the 1990s to promote the culture of taking brief naps at work. It is a short sleep that concludes before deep sleep. It supplements normal sleep, especially when a sleeper has accumulated a sleep deficit. It gives a burst of alertness and energy.

Power naps are usually for 15 to 30 minutes. The short duration is typically designed to prevent the nappers from going into a deep sleep, resulting in sleep inertia. That further results in grogginess, restlessness, bad mood, and more fatigue .Thus, a 15-minute nap can help you feel revitalized and more focused.

In places like Italy, Greece, or Spain, most people have mid-afternoon breaks known as riposo, mesimeri, and siesta, respectively.

Why Should You Take A Power Nap?

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According to a study by the center for disease control and prevention, one-third of Americans go to work sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep can cost the company billions of dollars. Even though taking a nap in the middle of the day is frowned upon in many parts of the western world, many organizations are being more open now to the power nap culture at work.

Encouraging employees to take a nap is becoming an important habit in various organizations that want to raise their workforce's productivity.

Stigmas around nap time are everywhere, but it is important to break those and accumulate a more flexible approach toward your employees' health and wellness programs by including nap pods and nap scheduled programs.

There is the practice of inemuri (sleeping wherever, whenever), daydreaming, or sleeping in Japan, which blurs the line between burnout and exhaustion.

Again, many workers, particularly daytime workers, experience a drop in alertness and productivity during the post-lunch slump. The bodies naturally become more tired, which leads to a decline in energy levels. In addition, studies have shown that if you take a nap before this time, such as between 12.20 pm and 2. pm, you can reduce your sleepiness.

Taking a 15-minute power nap is the best way to get you out of a groggy mood because it will not interfere with your work schedule and won't disrupt your sleep inertia. Sleep-deprived people might benefit more from an earlier nap, while people who are not sleep-deprived might benefit from a later nap.

It can be really helpful for both you and your company to encourage the employees to take a 15-minute power nap at work. In addition to increasing productivity, it improves the company's CSR (corporate social responsibility) reputation. Thus, introducing a concept similar to the Japanese workplace culture of having nap pods at the office and making midday naps more normal could be the next best thing for your corporate wellness program.

Sleep deprivation can create an imbalance in the body that increases ghrelins levels and lower leptin levels, leading to a higher calorie intake during the day.

Tips For Scheduling Your 15-minute Power Nap

"With great power comes great need to take a nap.- Rick Riordan"

A successful power nap needs the right strategy and planning. Before you start your journey of practicing the culture of taking a 15-minute nap, you should first schedule your midday nap. It might seem like an indulgence, but it is more like a secret to a more productive day with less anxiety and stress.

A little snooze can make a big difference in your energy levels and mental health well-being. Here are some tips for power nap perfection -

1. Pick Your Time Wisely

You should pick your napping time per your work schedule. Post-lunch is the ideal time to take a quick power nap as it helps to get rid of the afternoon slump. People who work the traditional day shift can avoid the nap post 3 pm, and those working the night shift can benefit from a nap early in the morning. Taking a longer nap might interfere with your nighttime sleep.

2. Ease Back With A Ritual

Try to extend the feel-good feeling of your nap by easing back into your daily work schedule with a ritual. It can be like having a cup of coffee or listening to your favorite music or having a good stretch. Remember, taking a power nap doesn't make you lazy, and there is nothing for you to feel guilty about it.

3. Don't Over Nap

Don't over nap. The longer nap you take, the more likely you will enter the slow-wave sleep. And waking up from a slow-wave sleep can cause grogginess and irritability. Your naps should be 15- 20 minutes long, and it is considered the ideal length for a power nap.

4. Find A Space Where You Won't Be Disturbed

Finding the right space at work for a nap is one of the key factors. Ideally, a dark room that blocks noise can help you fall asleep. You can use a sleep mask or noise cancellation headphones to avoid sleep disruptors like noise and light.

5. Put Your Phone On DND Mode

Scrolling through your phone or any other devices while taking a short nap won't help you, and will only make your more anxious and excited, making it even harder for you to fall asleep. So, instead, before taking your 15-minute nap, put your phone on silent or in Do Not Disturb mode to avoid any distractions.

Suggested Read :Try the Sleep Challenge and Feel More Productive at Work

Benefits Of Taking A Power Nap At Work

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Taking a midday nap is not only for children or old aged people but also for adults, especially when working. Incorporating a healthy nap practice into your schedule can positively affect your physical and mental well-being. Thus, you can maximize the benefits of power naps by knowing how and when to take them.

A study on the benefits of taking a power nap by Ficc et.al; says that "as short as 10 minutes nap can improve alertness and performance for about 2.5h in the face of prior hours of sleep loss and almost 4h if preceded by normal sleep ".

Here are some of the health and psychological benefits of taking a power nap-

Health And Psychological Benefits Of Napping

Napping has a stress-releasing effect as it reduces the levels of stress hormones while normalizing the immune-regulating molecules in your mind.

  1. Taking a power nap can facilitate memory consolidation and subsequent learning and emotional process. It also has many somatic benefits.

  2. It helps increase memory retention and further decreases the risk of cognitive dysfunction.

  3. Scheduling daily power naps into everyday life can help those who suffer from hypersomnia, insomnia, and sleep disorders.

  4. A brief 15-minutes nap can enhance your psychomotor skills and boost your work performance.

  5. Taking a nap can also help you prevent burnout and mental fatigue.

  6. Napping can increase your alertness and improve your physical performance, too.

The caffeine nap involves ingesting caffeine before taking a power nap. As soon as a person wakes up from a nap, caffeine's energizing effects kick in.

Summing It Up

Thus, power naps are beneficial for both your mental and physical health as long as they are taken in a considerate amount of time, usually not more than 30-minutes.Even when some organizations have come up with new strategies to encourage napping, booking an entire meeting room or hustling through lunch break in a car to get to a nap might not be the best option.

The best option would be for companies to live up to the benefits of napping and provide adequate places where 10-20 minutes can be spent napping quietly and consistently.

I hope this article helped you understand the power of taking a "power nap" and got you motivated to do so already.

This article is written by Neha Yasmin who is a content marketer at Vantage Circle. A selenophile with a penchant for discovering great meals and drinks. Is a self-proclaimed binge racer with a knack for cooking in her spare time. For queries, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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