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Can a nano-nap improve your performance?

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How to nap like a pro.

A nano-nap which lasts 10 minutes can boost alertness, concentration and attention for up to 4 hours. A 20 minute nap will increase memory and recall as well. Due to the shorter period of time you will not experience the grogginess you experience after waking from a deep sleep.

Sleep researcher Matthew Walker of the University of California, Berkley, has found that during lighter sleep “sleep spindles” occur. They are a burst of electrical activity, “that have learning and memory benefits.”

Longer naps?

60-90 minute naps give the best boost to learning as it allows the brain to start sorting; helping you to retain factual information and motor memory. A nap for 45 minutes or longer can take you through a stage of REM sleep; good to calm emotions.

Does the time of day affect your nap?

The time of day may affect the type of sleep you get because in the morning, you're more likely to experience REM sleep. Morning naps = more emotionally calming. Afternoon naps = restorative and memory boosting.

Take a siesta!

Everyone has an urge to nap right after lunch. Studies found that men who didn’t take a siesta had worse cardiovascular health, as they missed out on deep sleep. Walker explains, “Deep sleep lowers your blood pressure and lowers the contracting speed of the heart, so that you wake up with better managed cardiovascular system.” So find a nice quiet and dimly lit room and succumb to the urge to have a little nanna nap. 


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