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The Best Kind of Nap

By Jake | In Sleep | on April 5, 2014

I remember the good old days when I had time to sleep. There were plenty of times during my college years where I would grab a short or a long nap between classes. Now my days are filled with long hours of work and other responsibilities so it has become more difficult to get some shut eye. Just the other day I was head bobbing at work and as soon as I got home I knocked out for about 30 minutes. When I woke up I felt reenergized, more alert, and ready to roll on over to the gym. About two weeks ago the same thing happened, I was tired at work, and when I got home I took a nap for closer to 50 minutes. Instead of feeling more awake I felt even more tired. It took me a good amount of time to finally feel normal. After experiencing both a shorter and longer nap it got me thinking, what is the best kind of nap?

Yahoo posted the article, How to Take the Perfect Nap, and it discusses what length of a nap is best for the body. There is also a two minute video that explains the science of a nap, more specifically, the power nap. The reason that the body reacts better to a shorter nap is because when we sleep we go through four cycles. The first two cycles are more for light sleep and usually take about 10-30 minutes for the body to enter. It is around the second cycle that the brain relaxes and if woken up during this stage, studies have shown increase in productivity, creativity, and feeling less tired. During the third cycle the body begins to enter deep sleep and it is at this point (somewhere after 30 minutes) that if awakened the body goes through “sleep inertia”. How many times have you slept over 30 minutes and felt even groggier upon awakening? You wake up and feel slower and find it difficult to move about and most of the time you want to go back to sleep. That is what sleep inertia does to us.

In the video it also mentions that in Japan many nap salons are starting to become more popular because they create more alertness at work. People basically pay for a day bed for 30 minutes at a time. I could see a trend like that becoming a hit over in the US. Check out the link above to check out the science of a power nap.

WOD 04.05.2014

Partner WOD (Wodseries #2 with a twist)

  • 500m Row (Partner A)
  • 50 Burpees
  • 100 KBS (53/35)
  • 500m Row (Partner B)

C/O Total strict Pull-Ups in 3 Minutes (1 partner working at a time)

*Time starts for Cash Out as soon as Partner B finishes the row


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