Napping is a deep-set habit for some people, and even a cultural feature in some cases. There are others, however, who find the ritual useless and silly - most likely because they can't afford even a few minutes of rest during the day. These people would be wrong, as an ever-growing body of research has consistently proved that power-napping has several positive effects on one's performance in the context of work as well as daily tasks. The newest data comes from NASA, whose researchers became intrigued by the benefits of naps and wanted to see how these could apply to astronauts.
The findings of the studies performed by the American Space Agency on their astronauts corroborate the research published by the scientific community so far. According to their data, a 25-minute power nap improved the vigilance of their astronauts by 16 percent and enhanced their judgment by a whopping 35 percent.
But while NASA's seal of approval will definitely help convince some people of how real the benefits of power-napping are, the space agency isn't the only one producing interesting data about napping.
Another team of researchers decided to find out whether napping could have a bigger impact on one’s performance than their usual cup of coffee. And the conclusion of their study may disappoint coffee-lovers. They found that the individuals who indulged in a nap of 15 to 20 minutes woke up more alert and performed better in the second half of their day than those who drank 150 milligrams of coffee, which is the equivalent to most people's lattes.
It may be hard to believe, but the science behind naps is in fact quite simple. These quick periods of rest allow the brain to cool down and recuperate from the frantic levels of activity it is subjected to during the day.
According to sleep experts, 10 minutes of nap will be enough for the brain to become ready to carry on with the day tasks. One can rest a little longer if they have such a chance, but more than 30 minutes has proved to be redundant. This is because the brain will enter a state of deep sleep after 30 minutes, and waking up during this stage will usually leave individuals feeling more tired, as their bodies reject the interruption to the sleep cycle.
The secret then is to take a 10 to 20 minute nap at the end of lunch break. Companies will have different stances of the subject of napping, but some of the biggest businesses in the world endorse it, and even have established times and designated spaces for napping.