To Nap or Not to Nap?

Last updated on September 27th, 2023 at 02:12 pm

Five expert-approved benefits of taking a power nap

By Jove – our busy lives can make getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night tricky, right?  There could be many reasons you struggle to drift off, from overheating to overthinking. Whatever the reason you find it hard to sleep, you can really feel it the next day—yawning before lunchtime? Don’t pour that next cup of coffee, studies suggest there could be better ways to refresh yourself, like taking regular power naps. Though how effective are power naps for helping us focus? We speak to sleep expert Lauri Leadley to find out.

How much sleep do you really need?

Feeling less than awesome most days? Not getting enough shut-eye could be the culprit. Lauri explains that “8 hours of sleep per night is crucial to what your body needs to function healthily” Imagine your body as an iPhone, you wouldn’t expect to be able to WhatsApp and scroll Instagram all day without keeping it charged, right? Sleep is your battery charger. Without 8 hours of sleep a night, you will likely be relying on coffee and sugar to keep your eyes open. Getting enough sleep is not always easy with demanding jobs, children, and you know… keeping up with Netflix. So how can a power nap help?

How can a power nap help?

One night after another of bad sleep quickly puts you in a sleep deficit. Unmotivated? I can’t remember if you put the dishwasher on. Yep, lack of sleep can cause a whole host of problems. Step up the almighty power nap. Lauri explains, “Taking a power nap will help you top up on missed sleep and replenish you with energy to get on with your day.” This can help reduce anxiety, restore hormones, and stop you from reaching for the cookie jar. “Sleep gives you natural energy’. That’s why we tend to wake up feeling fabulous after a good night’s kip. It’s important to understand that taking a power nap will not make up for bad sleep hygiene. Like taking the proper time to unwind before bed and making bedtime something you look forward to.”Go for natural fabrics like soft, skin-friendly bamboo bedding.”  Drifting off starts with being nice and comfy!

Panda in the tree

Five fabulous benefits of taking a power nap

☑️ Increased energy – Get your trainers ready- a power nap will replenish your energy making it far easier to exercise, that’s why many professional athletes take their sleep seriously! While you may not feel like trying out for the Olympics, a power nap could make an afternoon walk feel easier.
☑️ Reduces anxiety – A power nap can help calm the central nervous system, reducing anxiety and overwhelm. Without sleep, you might be tempted to rely on caffeine which can increase anxiety and make it harder to switch off.
☑️ Boosts brain power – Memory fog- be gone! A power nap will give your brain a boost to get through the rest of those emails. Studies have shown a short nap can improve memory recall.
☑️ Reduces sugar cravings – Step away from the cake and take a power nap! Topping up your energy naturally will reduce sugar cravings and save you calories. Lack of sleep interferes with blood levels which have us craving sweet treats or relying on coffee.
☑️ Improves mood – Wake up with a smile. Taking a power nap can help boost those feel-good hormones that keep you feeling perky. That’s why the better we sleep, the better we feel.

How to Power nap like a pro

Before you dash off for that power nap… here are a few things to make sure you make the most of every wink. Lauri recommends “scheduling a power nap so your body gets used to taking it at the same time”. This will help balance your energy levels throughout the day. Next up, when to power nap? Lauri suggests, “1-3 pm tends to be the best time to take a power nap” after lunchtime is when energy is most likely to slump. As for time, 15-20 minutes is the perfect length for a power nap. This way, it will not interfere with getting to bed on time. Using an eye mask to shut out light will make snoozing far easier! Light interferes with melatonin production, making us feel nice and sleepy.

Finally, remember power naps will not resolve long-term sleep problems, and you may need to speak to an expert.

Ready for a nap? Snuggle into Panda’s oh-so-soft bamboo bedding and do it in style.

Happy napping!