Phoenix Life Coaching


Power Nap For Better Performance & Health

Today's busy agendas often compel us to squeeze more time from a day than it was ever meant to give. Many choose to trim a little time off of both ends of their sleep schedules in a effort to fit everything in, but in doing so they risk sleep deprivation.

Beyond the unpleasantness of feeling fatigued and muddle headed, sleep deprivation has several more serious side-effects. Recent studies in England have shown that sleep deprivation has a cumulative effect that mimics the aging process. People who were significantly sleep deprived showed physiological and performance declines similar to that seen in people many years older. Although most of these aging effects are likely reversible, it is yet unclear whether any are long-term.

In another study out of Chicago, sleep deprivation for one week in young, healthy men resulted in a pseudo-diabetic condition. Although reversible with sleep, this condition would lead to feelings of fatigue and reduced mental performance. Attempts to compensate for this with caffeine of other stimulants can lead to a vicious cycle.

Finally, The Ontario Auto Association recently warned that drivers who are drowsy at the wheel pose as much danger to others and themselves as someone drinking. Ironically, the same stress that compels many of us to trim our sleep time increases our need for the recuperative effects of sleep.

Clearly, getting enough high quality sleep is a wise priority for people wanting to get the most from themselves and from life. Practicing good sleep hygiene and getting your sleep at night is the best approach, but despite our best efforts, this isn't always possible. The Solution? The Power Nap.

Numerous studies have shown that napping for 20 to 60 minutes in the afternoon can make up of lost sleep the night before and can offer some protection from the effects of sleep derivation the following night. Napping can recharge your batteries and allow you to approach work and play with renewed vigour and a more positive attitude. It's a good investment in yourself and your career when it's needed.

Power Nap Tips:

  1. Nap in a quite place and get horizontal.
  2. Nap for at least 20 minutes but no more than 90.
  3. Nap in the afternoon, but avoid it in the evening.
  4. Do not nap if you have insomnia or are depressed.


Copyright © 2002  Phoenix Life-Coaching.

Return to Articles Page

G. Stephen Renfrey, Ph.D