Napping is a very controversial issue and a very personal one as well. I know a lot of people that take a nap every day. Either a power nap, which is usually around 10-20 minutes or a ‘full nap’ which usually lasts one to one and a half hours.
Personally, I’m not a napper. I tried it a few times, but I couldn’t do it consistently and doing it inconsistently ended up messing with my sleep schedule.
The studies on napping are somehow ambiguous. In a Harvard study, volunteers did a puzzle and took a 45-minute nap afterwards. While it boosted the performance of those who did well before the nap, it didn’t improve the performance of the ones that scored poorly the first time.
Due to the ‘too-little-sleep epidemic’, meaning that people actually sleep way too little, people are often forced to nap during work. This has nothing to do with being a slacker, but realizing that after a nap their performance will improve.
Companies and employers sometimes even encourage people to nap, as they know that they will do a better job afterwards. A famous employer who also did various testing on napping is NASA.
They found out that napping increased the performance of their pilots by 34% and their psychological alertness by a whopping 100%. If that’s not a good reason for a nap at work.
Naps are also good for you as they increase your memory function, your focus and energy levels as well as your creativity.
From your health’s point of view, napping might also be a good addition. If you are already sleep deprived, napping might give you an extra hour during the day, that you can add to your total sleep time.
Additionally, studies found out, that napping can reduce stress and the risk for heart disease.
A few tips to make the most out of your nap:
- keep a consistent napping schedule, meaning: always nap around the same time.
- keep it under 30 minutes, as research suggests and set a timer. You have to experiment with this. My best napping time was 18 minutes. If napped longer, I drifted into deep sleep and was groggy when I woke up.
- Where an eye mask or make the room dark. This will help you to get to sleep faster.
Seems like your naps in Kindergarten weren’t so wrong in the first place.
The best thing you can do is try it for yourself. Experiment with napping in general and with different nap duration. If you can’t find the time at all I would advise against a nap unless you’ll simply make the time.