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Power Naps

Power naps can rejuvenate you. Lying down on the floor with your feet resting on a chair for 20 minutes has great benefits.

Feeling tired during the day? Try a power nap.

Have you ever been so tired that your eyes felt like they were ON FIRE? Well, years ago I had been seeing patients for physical therapy in four different buildings: Outpatient, Inpatient, ICU, and the Psyche unit. This was not an everyday thing but on the days that it did occur I was starting to feel like my eyes were burning and it was only 11:00am!

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On one of these crazy busy days instead of going to lunch I asked my boss to let me lay down in one of the outpatient treatment rooms for 20 min. He was surprised and said, “Sure, are you OK”?  I said, “ I will be after I take a nap”. I put a timer on my watch and after 20 minutes I got up and felt alive again.

They don’t call it power nap for nothin!

I knew I had four more hours to go but it was ok because it felt like my battery had been recharged. This is when the power nap was born into my world.

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The term power nap was coined by James Maas, a social psychologist at Cornell University. It’s a short sleep that terminates before deep sleep. What’s in it for you to power nap?

If you nap for 20 minutes it boosts your memory, cognitive skills, creativity and energy level.

Well! That’s pretty darn good!

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU NAP FOR MORE THAN 20 MINUTES?

In Jennifer Soong’s article, The Secret and Surprising Power of Naps she says: “Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Napping for 30-60 minutes is good for decision making skills such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. 60-90 minutes of napping plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems”.

Naps vs Coffee

According to Sara C. Mednick Phd author of, Take A Nap! Change Your Life, caffeine actually decreases memory performance whereas power naps have short term and long term benefits.

Short-term benefits:

  • Sharpens cognitive skills
  • Elevates energy levels
  • Improves mathematical and logical reasoning
  • Increases reaction time
  • Improves motor skills

Long-term benefits:

  • Reduces stress
  • Decreases the risk of heart disease
  • Helps in weight management

Pretty powerful stuff! I believe we need to adopt a siesta time in the USA.

Let me know if you start power napping and share the results below. 🙂

With love and health,

Jackie?

This blog has been written with love. If it has been of value to you, please share it with all your friends. I am grateful for new subscribers. ❤️ ?

Jackie Castro-Cooper, MPT

I hold a Masters in Physical Therapy and specialize in John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release. My passion is helping patients discover their own path to healing through integrative and holistic therapies.