Roughly 85% of all mammals are known to have naps (short periods of sleep). But we as humans tend to be much different, we sleep in much longer durations, making our sleeping patterns much more complicated than other species. Whereas babies and the elderly tend to use naps as a way to recharge as opposed to children and adults that tend to go for their 8 hour sleep period.
The best types of naps should be between 20-30 minutes long. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with your bedtime sleep.
Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce your likeliness of making mistakes and accidents. Studies have proven that a nap can effectively double our alertness and make us much more focused than we would be prior to the nap. There are three different types of naps: emergency naps; Planned naps and habitual napping. Each of which will be explained now.
This is when you suddenly feel very tired and can no longer continue with the activity that you were originally doing. This type of nap can be used to combat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.
This involves taking a nap before you actually start to feel tired. You may use this technique when you know that you will be up later than your normal bedtime or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier.
This is when a person takes a nap at the same time everyday. Young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.
Naps can be very useful, 30 minute power naps can be vital for restoring your alertness and to recharge your batteries. But just make sure you nap in an appropriate place, falling asleep on the job isn’t a great idea, similarly falling asleep during a lesson at college won’t look too good either.