- A proper power nap should last between 20 and 30 minutes, before our body enters the phase of deep sleep, and it must be timed to allow for a subsequent awakening page
- Power napping and sports performance do have a positive correlation, as it has been scientifically proven that a power nap before a sports training session improves cognitive performance, as well as subjective alertness and fatigue
- Moreover, a power nap in PSD conditions helps to restore physical and mental freshness, getting close to the levels of performance one would get with a full night sleep, and boosts morale for the rest of the day
Always nap when you can. It’s cheap medicine Lord Byron
There is something amazing about this word: power nap. This short snooze takes us back to a time when we used to sleep more frequently in the day for shorter periods of time, a primordial circadian routine – which still naturally occurs in babies, whose removal from our lives still affects us all.
Furthermore, with the increase of our daily schedule’s complexity, it is becoming harder and harder even to engage in a full night of sleep, a pattern that is consistently leading us towards Partial Sleep Deprivation (or PSD in short). This self-inflicted unhealthy behaviour is particularly felt in sports, where physical and cognitive performances are of the essence.
Therefore, the power nap seems to be the cure-it-all for our sleep problems. However, what does power nap mean and when is the most effective time of the day to do it?
How to power nap
In fact, napping at a later time would mean a lack of efficiency in our nocturnal sleep, since our body is not prepared to take another sleep session so soon, whereas an earlier power nap would not be efficient in terms of energy recovery.
The benefits of power napping in sports
- Regular sleep with and without power nap
- Partial sleep deprivation with and without power nap
Every athlete did the same amount of daily physical exercise and ate following the same diet. In addition, napping time was regulated, with 30 a minutes snooze from 1.00 to 1.30 PM, followed by a waking phase of 30 minutes.
Improves cognitive performance
Improves alertness and fatigue thresholds
There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled Ovid
Restores physical performance from PSD levels
Besides, let’s be honest, don’t you think you would way more efficient in any kind of sports training with a rested mind and smile on your face?