Power Nap Pod

If you were an employee at Google, you would be among the fortunate few to get yourself a ‘Power-Nap Pod’, a specially designed chair to take a short nap, which will wake you up with vibrations and music. Power napping is getting increasingly popular the world over due to its instant results. Many companies are now allowing their employees to take power naps. You could be a busy executive at a long stretched meeting, a weary homemaker or a student preparing for your examination; a power nap can significantly rejuvenate you.

What is a Power Nap?

Power nap is a term coined by Cornell University professor James Maas. Power Nap refers to a short sleep ranging from 15-30 minutes, which ends before a regular deep sleep cycle begins. Power naps should not exceed 30 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes is an optimal range.

Stages of Sleep:

There are two stages of sleep – NREM – Non-Rapid Eye Movement and REM – Rapid Eye Movement.

• NREM has a reduced eye movement with less dreaming NREM has three stages – stage 1 is the beginning of sleep, it is the transition from wakefulness to sleep, stage 2 is the advance towards a deeper sleep, and stage 3 is a deep sleep stage.
• REM on the other hand has a rapid movement of the eyes and active dreaming.
• During the sleep cycle both NREM and REM, stages occur in a pattern. Completion of all three stages of NREM and REM is important for a healthy and complete sleep cycle.
• Power naps comprise of stages – 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation:
Sleep deprivation can lead to drowsiness, fatigue, clumsiness, and weight gain. Sleep deprivation affects the brain’s processing power as well as an individual’s working memory, responsiveness, and alertness.

Benefits of a Power Nap:

• Deep sleep cycle on an average lasts for 8 hours. Sleeping for 6 hours or less deprives us of the benefits of a complete sleep cycle. Once into the deep sleep stage an incomplete sleep will lead to drowsiness and fatigue, so 15 to 30 minutes of power nap is beneficial as the individual passes through only stage 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle. A power nap can work as gap filler for such individuals.

• After lunch is the best time to take a power nap. 15 minutes of sleep in the afternoon can be much more beneficial then 15 more minutes of sleep in the morning.

• Power naps can improve an individual’s performance as the brain gets a much-required rest. The processing power of the brain remains active throughout the day by power napping.

You cannot rely on power naps alone to substitute a complete sleep cycle. Having said so, one can resort to power naps as a solution to get rid of sleepiness during the daytime. Power napping can bring you back to your energetic self and help you stay alert and active throughout the day.

Well now, until your company installs a ‘Power-Nap Pod’ for you, seems you will have to make do with your work desk!

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