A power-nap is a short sleep which terminates before the occurrence of deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS), intended to quickly revitalize the subject. The expression power-nap was coined by Cornell University social psychologist James Maas. (Source: Wikipedia)
Mid-day sleep is termed as 'power nap'. “A power nap is defined as a short nap during the day of about 20-30 minutes duration”, says William Deardorff, Medical Advisor for www.Spine-health.com.
What do Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy all have in common? They've all made considerable contributions to the advancement of mankind, they're all distinguished in their respective fields, and they were all avid power nappers.
People who regularly take mid-day naps experience decrease in drowsiness. Research has also shown that it increases your level of alertness during the day and reduces stress.
Some more advantages of mid-day naps are:
- boost in productivity at work,
- improved ability to concentrate,
- less stress,
- better reaction time,
- increased learning,
- more efficiency,
- better mood,
- better health,
- increase in stamina,
- memory improvement,
- you can avoid sleep debt by making up on your sleep deficit.
In countries where siestas are common like in Latin America and in Middle East like Qatar and Saudi, businesses may open from early in the morning until noon, then close for three to four hours and reopen for another four or five hours. Workers nap for 15 to 30 minutes and spend the rest of their time with family. They return to work refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon assignments.
While some companies are beginning to encourage the midday power nap, your boss or company might not yet buy into the benefits. If that is the case, try these sneaky tips to grab a quick break (use at your own risk):
- Nap in your car. During your lunch break, head out to your car for a quiet place to take a quick nap. By getting out of the office, you will avoid any distractions and interruptions from your co-workers. If you’re worried about people seeing you in the parking lot, drive to the nearest store and pull into a parking spot to take your nap.
- Fake phone call. Your boss might not like the site of you sprawled out taking a nap, so sit at your desk and hold the phone to your ear like you are on a call. If possible, sit with your back to your office or cubicle door. Best used when you just need a few minutes to relax and recharge.
- Bathroom sleeper. On my first job as a janitor in Makati I found the serenity of the toilet , a great place to avoid interruptions and I highly doubt anyone will question you even if they do realize that you have been in the bathroom for more than 30 minutes.
You will return to your work with an increased energy and enthusiasm after a short nap. Just don’t sleep too long as then you will enter the deeper stages of sleep and will have a difficult time becoming focused again. As my friend Nebz of Isla de Nebz puts it in his post The Hidden Powers of Fiesta Siesta, "It freshens our soul, it invigorates our mind, it spikes up our spirit, and enables us to continue the day with exciting hope and vigor."
If you get caught sleeping, be prepared to discuss the benefits to an afternoon power nap and how you are attempting to improve your work productivity.