What you need to know about micro-naps

Sleep hygiene

Deciding to take a nap during the day is often criticized as being the cause of poorer nighttime sleep. But what about the power nap ? Wouldn’t it be more effective ? Follow our advice to use this technique optimally.

The underrated benefits of power napping

While allowing us to stay alert and occasionally compensate for a short night’s sleep, it can also have very positive effects on our well-being:

Concentration : Power napping improves attention and vigilance, thereby reducing the risks of work-related or road accidents due to fatigue.

Memory : By pushing the brain to function at full capacity during a short sleep, power napping enhances memory by more easily anchoring things seen and learned during the day.

Stress : By helping us quickly sort and classify the information saturating our memory, power naps limit stress.

How long should you sleep for an effective power nap?

A sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes, and the best time to wake up is at the end of each one. Conversely, the least suitable time to wake up is after half of the cycle during the deep sleep phase.

While a long nap may be beneficial on weekends to make up for sleep debt, sleeping too long during the day on weekdays can disrupt nighttime sleep and cause insomnia. Moreover, after a complete sleep cycle, it’s common to experience “sleep inertia” which is accompanied by confusion and a feeling of greater fatigue than before the nap.

Ideally, a power nap should be short and not exceed 20 to 30 minutes maximum to wake up before the deep sleep phase. However, those who have tried power napping have often been perplexed at first. Indeed, while it only takes 15 to 20 minutes of sleep to feel a beneficial effect, the time it takes to fall asleep can be quite long initially due to lack of habit.

Our advice : to fall asleep quickly, start by closing your eyes, then take deep breaths and try to relax while releasing your muscles. Adopting a different position from the one used at night can also allow the brain to differentiate between power naps and longer sleep, thus avoiding falling into too deep sleep.