Naps. Do they really make a difference?

How to make the most out of your naps

 

Everyone loves a good sleep, from Sunday morning sleep ins to that midday nap on the couch. But is there a way we can optimize our sleep for better performance during the day?

 

We all know the basic sleeping 8+ hours a night is best, but what if we don’t reach that marker?

 

Its very well researched that partial sleep deprivation (PSD) is very harmful to our body and compromises our ability to perform our regular activities during the day. Romdhani 2020, found that PSD compromised antioxidant defence and enhanced sleepiness and biomarkers of muscle and cellular damage. So, we know that if we are tired our body is at a greater risk of getting sick, which definitely isn’t optimal for 2020 conditions, but our body is also undergoing an increase in muscle and cell breakdown, negating the improvements we are making while training.

 

So how can we combat this tiredness, well, this same article was able to show that a nap of 90 mins

  • Increased wellness
  • Decreased daytime sleepiness
  • Decreased negative mood scores
    • (ie, depression, fatigue, stress and anger)

 

It was also found that a nap of just 20 mins was able to produce similar results as a 90-minute nap, however the improvements were not as large

 

Some key points to optimizing your naps in the future

  1. Don’t let it take away from your night-time sleep (8+ hours at night is still important)
  2. Take it early afternoon or late lunch time
  3. Keep it 20-90 minutes
  4. Cool and dark environment

 

Happy napping everyone!!

 

 

 

Romdhani, M. et al. (2020) ‘Improved Physical Performance and Decreased Muscular and Oxidative Damage With Postlunch Napping After Partial Sleep Deprivation in Athletes’, International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance, 15(6), pp. 874–883