How a Short Nap Can Improve Your Performance
Do you need to stay alert because of work or an important event you are attending? It can be challenging as you begin to feel sleepy. You try to keep yourself awake by pinching yourself and drinking coffee, but after the effect of caffeine wears off, you feel sleepy again.
When you take caffeinated drinks, you become mentally alert all right but feel jittery at the same time. You don’t feel relaxed and confident at all. Moreover, at the end of the day, when you want to go to sleep, you can’t because of caffeine overload.
The best way to fight sleepiness or tiredness is to take a 20-minute nap. Just find a quiet place somewhere and take a nap. Remember to limit your nap to 20 minutes or you’ll fall into deep sleep cycles and you will feel groggy.
What Can a 20-minute nap do?
A 20-minute nap is better than a cup of coffee. It can energize you to last longer without feeling any side effect. You will be alert and clear-minded as if you did not feel any stress during the morning. The nap will keep your senses more aware of the things happening around you.
After a nap, you will also be in a better mood making you more positive and productive. This is because sleep regulates the serotonin levels in your brain enabling you to counteract anxiety and irritability.
Sleep also increases your stamina. So, napping helps athletes prepare for their race or competition. It helps them keep their energy longer to last the entire competition.
If you’re a student and need to prepare for an exam, it helps to take a nap before you review your lessons and before taking the exam. The nap refreshes your mind so you can better absorb the information you are studying and recall it during the exam. By taking naps, you don’t crash even when you feel burnt out or stay up late. You can have better mental performance and you will have better memory to recall the information you need.
Effect of Lack of Sleep on Your Health
When you don’t have enough sleep and you’re struggling to stay awake, your health can suffer. Insufficient sleep sends signals in the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that helps fight stress. However, with continuous high cortisol levels, your immune system, mental performance and glucose intolerance will weaken. You will become at a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Having a short nap will release the pressure valve. Have a longer nap if necessary to help your body relieve stress, relax and return to normal hormonal levels.
If you’re on a long drive and you feel drowsy, stop for a while. Get a cup of coffee and take a 25-minute nap after drinking your coffee. By the time you wake up, the caffeine kicks in to give you a higher level of alertness and energy.
It may be difficult to get a nap sometimes. But try to be creative, find a place and position yourself so you will feel refreshed and positive afterward.
Photo credit: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain