What is the perfect length for a nap

Learn power napping in 4 steps

As a child we hated it and now we want it back - a short nap in between. With a power nap you can recharge your batteries for the rest of the day in just a few minutes. We explain to you why a short nap improves your performance and how you can use the technique of short sleep correctly.

What does power napping mean?

We all know how to nap, but what is power napping? A power nap, in German: energy nap, is a short sleep to recharge your batteries. However, this is not about proper sleep, but rather a short one Nod away. Experts believe that a maximum of half an hour the optimal duration for a restful short nap. If you master the technique of power sleep, you feel yourself then fresh and rested.

Our natural biorhythm is polarized in such a way that we can and should work most effectively around 11 a.m. 1 p.m. mostly tired become. In the afternoon the energy level rises again. The tiredness at lunchtime is almost in our nature.

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How do I power napping?

All you for one relaxing nap have to do is you convenient to lie down or to sit down and fall asleep. This is often easier said than done. Have you tried power napping before? Then you may know the problem: Sometimes a few minutes are just not enough, so that the alarm clock is overheard and you just keep sleeping. However, that is not the whole point of the power nap. Because if you sleep too long, you wake up even more tired than before the sleep break on. The good thing is: Anyone can learn power napping.

In 4 steps to restful sleep

So that your nap doesn't turn into permanent sleep, you should some rules note. With our 4 steps you can Learn power napping. And get the most out of every napping:

Step 1: Create the right environment

Whether at home, in the office or at the airport - you can theoretically have a power nap do anywhere. Nevertheless, the right atmosphere will help you to fall asleep faster and to rest effectively during the short time.

Find one for it quiet placewhere you can watch your eyes for a few minutes undisturbed. It is really important to you nobody disturbs during this. Sit or lie down comfortably and rest your head somewhere. The office chair is okay here too, if you sit comfortably and the Rest your head on your arms can. Also make sure that you are not too cold or too warm.

Step 2: The right power napping duration

The optimal power nap duration is very important. The following applies: In the short is the flavor. According to Jürgen Zulley, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Regensburg, a Powernap betweenTake 10-30 minutes. But if you are just starting to learn the technique, you can nip a little longer. The goal, however, is for you to eventually feel just as rested after a short nap as you did after an hour's sleep.

In order not to go to sleep forever, consider one as a nap beginner Alarm clock with a gentle alarm tone. Even if it's difficult - as soon as the alarm goes off, you should really try to wake up and don't just go back to sleep. You will notice that after a few power naps you will wake up on your own after a short time.

Step 3: A comfortable power napping pillow

Especially at the beginning it is important that you lying or sitting comfortably. Your head should also be gently laid down. This is how you avoid neck pain. So if you want to nap in your office chair, make sure that the Do not bend your head to one side can.

Even if a cozy pillow would be ideal, you don't always have a pillow ready when you want to take a nap. In such cases, creativity is required. A Jacket, a scarf or a backpack can replace a conventional pillow. As a practiced napper, you can just keep your head open place on your arms.

Step 4: Effective techniques for falling asleep quickly

Have you created the perfect environment for yourself, shaken out your pillow properly again, are you also tired and still can't sleep? Many have this problem. Because despite seemingly optimal conditions, most people can do not fall asleep at the push of a button. Either a thousand thoughts go through our heads or suddenly something itches. But don't worry - the body consciously come to rest to let go and slide to sleep, can youlearn! Relaxation techniques like Progressive Muscle Relaxation or breathing exercises. But also the right ones Food makes you sleep well.

The easiest way to relax is lying on your back and stretching out your arms and legs. But you can also sit down comfortably. Close your eyes. Breathe through the nose deep in, hold the Air for about 4 - 7 seconds on and then breathe through the mouth or nose. Repeat this simple breathing technique a few times. You will notice: Before you know it, you will be asleep or at least much calmer.

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How long is a power nap?

How long the nap should last, everyone can decide for themselves. Ideally, you are asleep only for a short timebut no longer than an hour. If you twilight away for several hours, you risk being even more tired after your sleep than you were before. But on the weekend even a long nap has its advantages.

10-20 minutes

If you can manage to nod away non-stop during that short period of time, you will find yourself in the Light sleep phase. As soon as you wake up, you will be fresh and rested with no problems getting up. So this short period of time is ideally suitedto also occasionally times to close your eyes.

30 minutes

You will fall in after just 30 minutes of sleep deeper sleep phases. Many people then wake up not quite so rested anymore on. As a result, even half an hour can be too long. So if you notice that you are not jumping out of bed as light as a feather after over half an hour, try switching to a short nap time.

60 minutes

Even if you can't really talk about a power nap after an hour, a 60-minute nap is makes perfect sense. During this time you sink into the Deep sleep and can be new Store learned knowledge particularly well. Long naps are particularly suitable for the weekend.

90 minutes

At 90 minutes you experience one full sleep cycle including REM phase. That is, your body begins to dream and save what has been learned even better. If you wake up after 1 ½ hours of nap, you feel yourself rested and alert. However, a longer nap is not for the late afternoon. Not that you have trouble falling asleep in the evening. If that is the case, they will help you 7 tips for a good night's sleep further.

Is power napping healthy?

Anyone who has ever laid on their ears for a moment knows the relaxing effect of a nap. But studies have also shown that power napping is the Can increase performance by up to 35 percent. Among other things, this has to do with our natural biorhythm. Because that we get tired in the afternoon is quite normal. According to Dr. Martin Braun from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organization is exactly the time after dinner between noon and 2 p.m. ideal for power napping suitable. It is during this time of day that we are the least efficient and have the least naturally a need for sleep. So you should indulge your next lunchtime low with a very relaxed nap. Your body will thank you.

If a power nap is out of the question for you, maybe one of ours will help you 10 tips against fatigue. But also just briefly Close your eyes and rest already has a relaxing effect on you. So if your eyes close next time at work, don't be afraid to close your eyes and just do nothing. You will find that you feel like it feel relaxed and productive in the second half of the day master.

Our conclusion

  • A power nap is a short nap to increase your performance.
  • The optimal duration for the rest break is between 10 minutes up to half an hour. Avoid sleeping too long. Otherwise you will do exactly the opposite and be even more tired afterwards.
  • Getting a short sleep can be difficult at first. With the right technique, however, you can quickly benefit from the advantages of power napping. Find a quiet place to do this, sit down or lie down comfortably and breathe deeply and calmly in and out.
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  • Doctors newspaper (2004): Sleep well to success - through power napping, at: https://www.aerztezeitung.de/Medizin/Ausgeschlafen-zum-Erfalt-durch-Powernapping-325162.html [as of April 2020].