What Happened When I Took a Power Nap Every Day for a Week
Photo by Floris Oosterveld, licensed by CC
There are plenty of things that I miss about my childhood, unlimited candy consumption and Saturday morning cartoons being among them. Probably more than anything else, I miss the ability to nap whenever I want. I frequently look back on those carefree years of nap time and wish I could go back and tell my younger self to cherish those moments, because as an adult, you will be tired all the time.
So when I was told that I had to take a power nap every day for an entire week, I nearly grabbed a nap mat and fell asleep right at my desk. Finally, an excuse to sleep during the day! I was always feeling tired and longing for a nice long snooze, and I assumed incorporating naps back into my life would be easy as learning to tie my shoes.
I was very, very wrong.
For starters, I commute in and out of New York City from New Jersey every day for work, so my window of opportune times to nap is tiny. I determined that the only way I could make this work was to turn my commute into power nap time.
According to some recent studies, making time for a nap every few days is probably in our best interests. Besides the obvious benefit of getting more sleep, an Endocrine Society study says that a 30-minute power nap can help to reverse the effects of a poor night's sleep. Another study from the University of Michiganclaims that after a 60-minute nap, their study participants were able to handle frustrations better and were more likely to avoid impulsive behaviors.
With all of these benefits in mind, I was looking forward to a week of extra sleep, even if it was only 20 or 30 minutes long. I didn't do anything to prepare myself for a week of scheduled naps, like looking up meditation methods or making a relaxing playlist. I figured that since I always tend to feel tired, getting myself to fall asleep would be easy. I was so convinced that I would fall asleep that I had terrible visions of sleeping right through my train stop and waking up in the middle of the night still on the train.
Read the full article "What Happened When I Took a Power Nap Every Day for a Week" at Fitness.