Monday, September 30, 2013

How Long to Nap for the Biggest Brain Benefits


Taking a nap, we've seen time and again, is like rebooting your brain. But napping may be as much of an art as it is a science. Scientists offer recommendations for planning your perfect nap, including how long to nap and when.P
The sleep experts in the article say a 10-to-20-minute power nap gives you the best "bang for your buck," but depending on what you want the nap to do for you, other durations might be ideal:
For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.
For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.
Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.P
In addition to those recommendations, one surprising suggestion is to sit slightly upright during your nap, because it will help you avoid a deep sleep. And if you find yourself dreaming during your power naps, it may be a sign you're sleep deprived. While you're planning your nap, don't forget to time it during the right time of day as well.
Source: LifeHacker.

56 comments:

  1. I believe all of the above are true. Outside of a good energetic brisk walk, naps are really important to regroup the brain and be alert and to help one pace within one's schedule. I believe that napping is beneficial for health, emotional stability and stamina.

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  2. I don't believe that 90 minutes is enough sleep to call it a full cycle of sleep (ocasionaly if no other choice may be but not on a long term).

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    1. A full cycle simply means that you slept trough all the sleep stages, not a full night of sleep, in which you generally have about 4 of those cycles.

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    2. ^
      You're thinking of a "full night's" sleep....A full sleep cycle, as mentioned above, is 90 minutes. A full nights sleep (they say 8 hours) contains 5 1/2 sleep cycles. That's the usually recommended "8 hours of sleep a night" is actually not the most beneficial amount of sleep. If you sleep for 7.5 hours you will get a full 5 sleep cycles and wake up right after REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which occurs towards the end of the sleep cycle, and you will feel the most alert and the easiest to wake up! :)

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    3. Youre an idiot

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    4. I've always heard it is 2 hours, not 90 minutes.

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  3. I'm up all night because I sleep alllll day ... I'm the King AD Rock & he's EMMMMSEEEEAAAAAY ...

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    1. I did it like this, I did it like that I did it with a whiffle ball bat!

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    2. i'm in my car i'm going far

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  4. I sleep as much as i can (When im not playing computer games lol) I recon i sleep about 12 hours a day and OMG i must becoming a GENIUS according to more sleep equals better brain stuff lol ;-)

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    1. but you're gonna die sooner.

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  5. And at no point do the "scientists" say that napping also completely ruins any chance of a good nights sleep!

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    1. That's my problem too.

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    2. That's why I'm awake right now.

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    3. They did say to pick the right time of the day.

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    4. What, night time? Maybe combine several naps for, say, about 8 hours.

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  6. which one is allowed at our work place :)

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  7. For the NON believers. Do some research on slow wave sleep, it is the most important part of our sleep, helping to reinvigorate and regenerate us. I am able to go into this slow wave state through controlled breathing and meditation without actually going to sleep, able to wake up in a moment because I am not actually asleep. Practice doing this, and it becomes easier.

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    1. I would really like to learn this. Is their any info you can give me to learn to meditate and do the breathing.

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    2. I empty my mind of all thoughts, feel my breath going in and out of my lungs. Slow down your breathing and it slows your heart rate down. In my head I am saying to myself RE as I breathe in and LAX as I breathe out. It gets longer and longer until I am in a state of total relaxation. Hope this has been helpful to you. Practice this and you will be able to do it as soon as you lay down.

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    3. there are chi gong exercises for sleeping too

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    4. thank you for sharing - sharing is caring

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    5. This actually happens to me too when I meditate and it feels amazing. I didn't realise this was what it was, but I'll look more into slow wave state.

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  8. As a nurse working 13 hour days I often had a 10 - 20 minute nap in my tea break around 5.00 p.m. When I awoke I was fully refreshed enough to do the medication (without error) and continue working effectively until 8.00 p.m. Don't need them now as I'm retired! ;-)

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  9. Old news check the writings of Benjamin Franklin*-*

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    1. Just stay out of this Devin. Smartass!

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  10. Hmmm....who are all these people who actually have TIME in their days for naps?? I'm very jealous! :)

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    1. I would put my head down on my desk at break time. If you can't do that, find something else.

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    2. I agree. I'm kind of an anti-napper. Ain't nobody got time for dat. We can be doing so many other productive things. Like reading about napping.

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  11. I have long said that companies need to put in power nap stations for employees to do the short refreshing nap.

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    1. I worked for a company that had nap rooms. I took full advantage and would take about a 20 minute nap every day. It was awesome until a few folks ruined it for everyone by having sex in the rooms. That ended in a nap room shut down.

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  12. This works wonders; Drink a cup of coffee right before your 30 minute nap; it takes 30 mins for the caffeine to kick in. So no sleep hangover, rested and ready to go!

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  13. I think it's time for a nap! but.... slightly upright? Not quite sure how to visualize this...

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  14. ok then how long sofa is the best to nap? > man in fig.

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  15. The spanish have it right- afternoon siesta-perfect.

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  16. I take naps at lunch an occasionally dream in the 20-25 min I sleep, is that normal, everyone thinks im strange

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  17. I'm in japan working at the moment and the Japanese people in the office usually eat for 15-25 minutes and relax/nap for the remainder of the lunch break..Something I plan to bring back to the states when I return.

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  18. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had made this as a practice 1400 years ago...Its benefit is proven today..

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    1. its true, thumbs up (y) and usually its during noon

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  19. This makes total sense! Sometimes when I'm driving on the highway and I feel really tired I stop and take a 15 minutes nap. When I open up my eyes I feel refreshed and can continue driving.

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  20. I do this almost every day on my lunch hour. Just 10-15 min. Takes about 5 min for the grogginess to clear then I rock out the rest of my day. High stress job and two little kids at home. You have to make time for your. :)

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  21. would that cause any insomnia at night?

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    1. I think your is a great question. In my sincere professional opinion, this is a matter that you would have to test out. Good luck, sweet dreams, and all that jazz.

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  22. Awesomeness. Love the breakdown. Sometimes you do need to shut down for a minute. Empty your mind. Escae, then come back to crank it out. As I got older food colma demands a good nap.;) 30s and up you feel me?;) hung van lam aka hella hung

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  23. Eh, for Naps::: Even the Indigenous tribes who are untouched by outsiders (society); sleep during the hottest parts of the days which is from noon to 3. Our paleolithic era (ancestors)--slept during the hottest parts of the day which is from noon to 3. We evolved more since then but not much in way of example of sleep! My family with our lifestyle we sleep 7-8 hrs of night sleep and 3 hr naps during the hottest part of the day--the kids sleep 12 hrs at night and 3 hours of nap time during the hottest part of the day.

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    1. You must live in a warm area. Not a northern climate where it's cool and dark 6+ months of the year! Different strategies up here! :-)

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  24. When I try to nap, it takes me 20-30 minutes to even fall asleep and if you only have 20-30 minutes, you just get to that happy place and have to get up without really feeling rested!

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  25. my husband actually do get sleep deprivation....he once worked as a driver for a company 4am to 5pm and he drove long hours...his first stop wasn't open... so he would snooze and the minute he shuts his eyes, he would start dreaming..i worry everyday for 13 years...kept dozing off on the wheel..i'm just glad he's not driving anymore..

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