How to properly practice the micro-nap to rebalance your sleep cycle, a practical guide
But what is a micro-nap?
Forget your Sunday afternoon naps that last several hours, we’re talking about a break of just a few minutes. There are several stages of sleep: falling asleep, light sleep, deep slow sleep and REM sleep.
The micro-nap, lightning nap, power nap or flash nap (too many names) only touches light sleep. It’s all about relaxing, resting without actually falling asleep. During this period, however, you remain receptive to the world around you.
In some countries like Japan, a nap in the workplace is recommended. It gives the perception that you are really involved in your work because you are resting to do it better. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep has a significant impact on business. This would cost them around $ 63 billion a year, in particular for the reduction in productivity due to fatigue.
Practice the micro-nap well
To succeed in this micro-nap is also to have a good environment and a good position. Alertness decreases every 90 minutes and the largest decrease is reported to occur in the early afternoon. The ideal time would therefore be between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. but it is difficult to get everyone to sleep at the same time. You should also be careful not to sleep too long: beyond 20 minutes, there is a significant risk of falling into a deeper sleep.
Before you even start, you have to program an alarm clock, to be sure not to wake up 5 hours later wondering what year it is. Whatever the position, whether head in arms, sitting on your chair or lying down, relaxe your muscles and body. The speed of relaxation depends on the person, with training, sleep will come faster. You need to focus on your breathing while breathing in and out deeply. It is necessary to be relaxed, if you are stressed by the short amount of time that you have, this micro-nap will not be restorative.
Waking up is also an important phase. This has to happen slowly to avoid being abrupt and letting you be disoriented. Take a few minutes to stretch your legs and back … It is obviously normal to be a little lost for the first few minutes, taking a nap does not make you insensitive to sleep.
The benefits of the micro-nap
By resting for a few minutes during your day, you allow your body to rest and focus on itself. The effect of potential stress can thus be eliminated. The micro-nap compensates for a short night while improving your attention and alertness. Memory is also impacted. You are essentially forcing it to work quickly for a short period of time. This allows the brain to assimilate the information of the day more quickly.
Here you are, re-energized and full of energy to enjoy 100% of this important meeting.
The micro-nap can also be used before hitting the road and thus avoid drowsiness while driving. Avoid sleeping too long so as not to fall into deep sleep.
At work, you can request an official micro-nap time or do it discreetly on your desk or in a room (good luck for people in open spaces…). Obviously you want to avoid coffee or stimulants for a quality micro-nap!
Do you want more ?
Read our articles to understand everything about sleep!