Scientists have recently revealed that power-napping really can help boost brain power and aid decision making. Academics say the snoozes was enough to significantly improve brain power, compared with those who stayed awake beforehand.
Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare commented: “Studies of napping have shown improvement in cognitive function, creative thinking, alertness and memory performance. This is backed up by NASA, who worked with military pilots and astronauts, finding that by napping for approx 20 minutes, they could improve their alertness by 100% and performance by 34%. This is often referred to as a ‘power nap’.
“As we go through the day our levels of alertness decrease, so having a nap can be a really helpful way of resetting ourselves. This is fundamental to the cognitive processes that then happen. There are also long-term benefits to regular naps according to research, including reduced blood pressure levels. Scheduled napping can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One of the things we know is that sleep is a restorative process, it’s an anti-inflammatory meaning it helps to lower blood pressure and boost your immunity.
“However, it’s important to remember that longer naps can create a ‘sleep hangover,’ otherwise known as sleep inertia, which can disturb your normal sleep cycle. Sleep inertia is define as the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that can come with awakening from a deep sleep. While this state usually only lasts for up to 30 minutes, it can be detrimental to those who must perform immediately after waking from a napping period. Napping can also have a negative effect on the length and quality of your night time sleep. If you have trouble sleeping at night or have been diagnosed with insomnia, a nap will only amplify problems.”