I have an old friend who swears by the benefits of the Half-Hour Power Nap. The dude could party all night, work the day-shift, “rest his eyes” on the sofa for less than thirty minutes, and be ready to close down the bars all over again. Myself, I tend to rise way before the sun and just keep rockin’ along until I drop. Any nap is unplanned, and if I do doze off, usually at my desk at home or in a patio chair, I’m likely to be down for the count for a couple hours. I’ll wake up groggy and cranky and feeling as though I’m starting the day all over again. But no, I wont be energized to stay up any later than usual, conversely, I’ll probably be more likely to hit the sack earlier. I’ve tested this many times, thinking I could snooze for a few hours and then attend a late concert, not yawn through two-thirds of it, and still feel fresh at four the next morning. Alas, night-life is a rarity in my life.
Maybe I should set an alarm. My power-nap buddy was onto something, according to new NASA research on naps. (Before you think that odd, remember there’s a whole lot of time to spent in space if people were on their way to Mars, for instance, so sleep will take up a good bit of it.) Turns out just shy of that thirty-minute mark appears to be the optimal nappy-time length. According to NASA, the perfect length of a nap is . . . 26 minutes. They found that when you nap for 26 minutes, you’ll be 54% more alert and 34% better at whatever you do next. Why? At 26 minutes, you’re only going through the first two stages of sleep, you’re not entering the others, which can make you feel groggy or even feel WORSE when you wake up.
So have a nice nap! Or don’t, if that works better for you. By the way, this post was NOT the product of AI or a chatbot…the words and their arrangement were created by an actual human mind. Knew you’d appreciate that!