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Why take a powernap?

Did you know that NASA scientists are already convinced that a powernap increases concentration? The only thing left is to convince ourselves. Let me start to explain what a powernap actually is. A powernap is an afternoon siesta, you can also call it a nap or dozing off while getting a short period of light sleep. In essence this usually happens during the day. With power napping sleep is interrupted before the deep (REM) sleep is reached.

Benefits

  • You feel fitter
    20 minutes is all it takes to refuel your brain and body . After a short powernap you can be fresh and up again to take on the day. You will boost your energy level by closing your eyes for a short moment.
  • Regain Concentration
    You are also much more alert and happier and on top of that you will regain concentration. After a 20-minute powernap you are generally more alert, monitor situations better and react faster.
  • Improves your health
    People who take a power nap generally have lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and a healthier heart.
  • Makes you remember things better
    By taking a powernap every now and then you will give your brain time to organize all the acquired knowledge and move it to your long-term memory. This way your short-term memory will not become overcrowded and you can store more information.
  • Be more creative
    Let go of what you are doing at the moment and let your brain re-organize itself. Then when you wake up look back at what you did with a fresh look.
  • It is stress reducing.
    A power nap reduces feelings of stress and the chance of a getting burned-out.

Time of day
A powernap is most effective in the afternoon. This of course applies if you do not work the night-shift. If you take a nap in the morning it will not help that much. After all, you just got out of bed and now take the risk of not getting out at all. Normally a person is the most productive in the first hours of the workday. So you cannot afford taking a nap at that time of day.
Also if you take a nap late in the day, this can disturb your night’s sleep. After all, it will not be that long before you go to bed to sleep all night.
So if you want to benefit from your powernap, it is wise to do this at the beginning of the afternoon. After you had lunch for example. You’ve probably experienced feeling sleepy after lunch once in a while. This is the perfect moment to lie down and relax.

Tips for taking a better Powernap
Drink a glass of (warm) milk or a cup of chamomile tea for your powernap. Dairy products contain calcium, which promotes a peaceful sleep. Chamomile is known for its relaxing effect.
You can also drink a cup of coffee just before your afternoon nap.
Caffeine begins to work about 20 to 30 minutes after taking it. If you wake up after your powernap, you benefit from a double boost.
You can also eat a small amount of one of the following sleepers:
Cherries – Are a natural source of melatonin
Bananas – Are rich in magnesium and potassium. This helps to relax our muscles and also contains a small amount of melatonin.
Almonds – are rich in magnesium which helps relax the muscles and contains tryptophan which soothes the brain and has a sleep-promoting effect.
Pumpkin and / or sunflower seeds – Are rich in tryptophan which soothes the brain and has a sleep-promoting effect.

Do not forget to set an alarm. This prevents you from sleeping too long and being woken up in REM sleep.
Make sure you can not be disturbed.
Switch off your mobile phone and, for example, lock the door.
Wash your face after your powernap with cold water. This will let you wake up fresh.
Cover yourself with a blanket or duvet. This prevents you from waking up being cold. Your body cools down when you sleep.

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