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
Power Nap Tips:
- Nap in a quite place and get horizontal.
- Nap for at least 20 minutes but no more than 90.
- Nap in the afternoon, but avoid it in the evening.
- Do not nap if you have insomnia or are depressed.
Copyright © 2002 Phoenix Life-Coaching.
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