Power Nap: The Good and the Bad

A power nap during the day can be very helpful, or it can upset our body clocks (circadian rhythm). Napping (even a short one) can cause you to experience insomnia when you try to go to bed that evening.

There are certain benefits to napping. By taking a power nap you can take a few minutes to relax. You can wake up in a better mood and feel more alert. You may see improvement in your reaction times, your memory skills, and make fewer mistakes.

But, that being said, napping is not for everyone. Sometimes you may wake up feeling disoriented or groggy. Taking a nap during the day can affect your sleep so you might find you either can’t get to sleep, fall asleep, stay asleep or you can wake up extremely early in the morning.

Some people prefer to schedule a power nap, and it can recharge them for several more hours during the day or night. A power nap is a nap that is extremely short in duration but you awake feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. Not everyone can take a power nap and feel this way.

As we become more and more sleep-deprived, we may need to rely on a nap just to stay awake during the day. Even if you take just a short nap every now and then, say 20-30 minutes, you can improve your performance, alertness, and mood.

There are actually three different types of naps you can take:

  • Habitual Nap. This is a person who takes a nap at the same time every day.
  • Emergency Nap. This is a nap that comes on suddenly and without any warning. You become so tired that you feel you can’t stay awake one more minute without dozing for a short while.
  • Planned Nap. If you have activities such as a late night party and you know you are going to be staying up past your normal bedtime, you might want to try to lie down and take a short nap.

There are positive and negative effects to napping, so just figure out your own body clock and it will help you determine your personal need for a nap. Some people never need a nap. Other people can’t function without a nap during the day (whether they are elderly or not). By getting enough of a good type of sleep at night, you won’t need to take a nap. But if you do need a nap, follow the rules of napping to avoid other problems such as insomnia.