Do power naps actually work?

Experts say we can survive well enough on six hours of sleep a night, but getting eight is certainly not going to hurt. But what if you just can’t get that many hours, due to family, work and social pressures? Could power naps be the answer?

The idea of napping as a means of ‘topping up’ your energy levels in the middle of the day has been around for generations. But do naps actually work?

Sleep is still a poorly understood part of human psychology and physiology.  But traditional wisdom says that a quick power nap of around 20 minutes should make you more alert in the hours immediately after, but a longer nap may only serve to fatigue you even more.

There’s something called ‘confusional arousal’, which is the groggy state you find yourself in when woken from deeper sleep. You won’t enter that phase if you’re only napping for a few minutes, but if you slumber for any more than half an hour, you could find that when you wake up you feel more exhausted than when you nodded off.

Dreaming sleep – the type of sleep you can’t get in a short nap – is vital for your brain’s long-term health and happiness. So while power naps may help you get through a difficult day, they’re not a replacement for a good night’s sleep.

At eve, we believe the best way to recharge is to get great sleep every night – so you wake up every morning energised and ready to take on the world.

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