Manila, Philippines

Napping at Work: Power Naps

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Read an interesting entry in wikipedia on power naps. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept but never really got the time to look it up to learn more.

First heard of power naps from a newscast covering a former Philippine president. The chief executive was said to be taking power naps strategically scheduled at certain parts of the day instead of the usual 6-8 hours of sleep at night. This is said to boosts his/her performance and enables him/her to allot most of his/her time working as our beloved President instead of sleeping (so what did s/he do during those nights? Who did s/he call or what deals did s/he make? Let’s not go there…)

So, from context clues, power naps are short naps of around 15-20 minutes that is said to be potentially more effective than a full night’s sleep, if done properly. Based from the wikipedia entry, it was proven effective in terms of improving overall performance of the brain and the senses, and that is is even recommended to allow power naps at the workplace (sounds like a perfect idea to me). This concept and mindset is actually very appealing to uber busy people who still find the 18-hour average awake time insufficient. And to those who work on graveyard shifts who want to make use of the 15 minute breaks to energize without feeling groggy, sluggish and even more sleepy afterwards. Imagine, less aggregate time of sleep in a day and yet more effective in resting and re-energizing our bodies.

I wonder though if living on a power naps lifestyle is sustainable.

Still, power naps need to be properly timed to make sure that the body does not fall into a deeper state of sleep because termination of this deeper level of sleep is actually counterproductive: makes you groggy and disoriented, you’ll really feel the lack of sleep. So the key is to keep the nap duration within the acceptable time frame such that it only has beneficial effects.

And so I wonder once again if sleeping during the shuttle ride to the office (early morning) or the ride to home (late at night) can be turned into power naps. You see, this is beneficial to commuters like me who need to wake up early because the workplace is very far from the residence area. Also, to those who go home late to far places, only to wake up early again the next day to repeat the routine.

So next steps for me will be to master the art of power naps on the road. So that I get to compensate my night sleep deficit, and still energize me and allow for a high performance during my waking hours.
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