Maybe I am late to the party on this, but I am totally feeling the physical ways as to why today is titled, ‘National Napping Day’. Due to springing forward the night before, it is that tricky day two when the full effects come into play of a time change. Yes, today, not yesterday, I want a nap and I want it now. Good thing naps are super beneficial. In my world, though, I would like to declare every day, a day in which a nap is celebrated.
Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate how long of a nap you really need. Sometimes it feels absolutely amazing to just fall asleep and wake when your body is ready. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit into our schedules every day. Cue in – the power nap.
Sleep comes in five stages that reoccur in cycles as you sleep. Throughout a power nap, its intentions are to completely cycle through the first two stages. The first stage features the introduction of the body realizing it is going to sleep as electrical brain activity, eyes and jaw movement and breathing slow down. The second stage is light, yet restful in which the body lowers its temperature, relaxing muscles even further in preparation to enter into the deep slow-wave sleep.
Stage one can last up to 10 minutes and stage two until the 20th minute. Experts believe that the optimal power nap should roughly last within the first 20 minutes in order to give the body full access to stage two’s restorative benefits. Stage two improves alertness and stamina, marked by electrical signals in the nervous system. These signals seem to solidify the connection between neurons involved in muscle memory.
Power naps lift productivity and mood, lower stress, and improve memory and learning. This is exactly why you feel so refreshed and alive again after a solid effective power nap. Even certain businesses promote power naps with convenient napping pods or cubbies around the office.
It is literally one of the best things you can do for yourself – celebrate national napping day, every day!