Power Naps: A Sleep Solution

October 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm 1 comment

The brain needs sleep for good cognitive function – skimping on your nightly Zzzz’s for even one night can affect your focus and memory, and scientists Well Rested!  have recently drawn a link between ongoing sleep deprivation and the development of Alzheimer’s plaques.

But no matter how important it may be, insomnia troubles many of us, and life’s schedules and health problems don’t always allow for a full and restful night’s sleep.   As we age, many of us experience trouble getting enough rest.

One solution? Power Naps – an idea that even NASA is on board with.

Here’s the scoop:

We naturally sleep in cycles of shallow and deep sleep – and if we wake up in the middle of one of the deeper cycles, we usually feel groggy, heavy and leaden.  That’s why some naps seem to leave us more groggy and less productive than before – we fell into a deeper sleep cycle, and tried to wake up in the midst of it.

Power naps aim to avoid that grogginess by strictly limiting the time spent napping so that our brains don’t have time to fall into the deeper cycles.  To try a power nap, set a watch or alarm for 20 to 25 minutes, get comfortable and close your eyes.  If possible, darken the room, or wear a sleep mask.  And don’t stress if you dont seem to fall asleep, just the period of relaxation can be helpful.

When the alarm goes off, resist any urge you may have to curl up for longer – get up and move around so you are fully awake.

The extra down-time of a nap can improve working memory, focus & attention, energy levels, reduces stress and helps make up for sleep deprivation.

With a bit of experience and experimentation, you may find that longer or shorter naps are better suited to your personal sleep cycles, or that you do best napping in the early or late afternoon.   Don’t be afraid to vary the timing to see what works for you!

Don’t miss out on Dakim’s “Give Thanks for Loved Ones” Contest, running now through November 5th.  You could win a $2500 brain fitness system for a senior friend or family member!

Entry filed under: Sleep. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. linda buroker  |  October 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    You have certainly caught my attention and I am looking forward to more research in this area. I am historically a poor sleeper and have always been led to believe that napping was counterproductive. I have noticed many articles of late threatening us poor sleepers with dire consequences and find your concept most encouraging. lmb

    Reply

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness

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