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Getting More Sleep through Power Naps

The demands of work and other responsibilities have gotten so many people miserable that they are just only winging it and swinging by. Now to be in such a condition in a hectic environment such as Lagos, working a 9-5 and commuting from the Mainland to the Island daily, would mean a near death sentence. Aside from the stress, many find that they doze off in odd places and are generally not very productive. In fact, sleeping in odd places itself is known to have been fatalistic in cases where a car driver sleeps off on the steering or where an operator dozed off while operating a machine. There are already obvious signs that the world is too much with us and we hardly get a chance to cool off the steam.

Moving on from the pressures and demands of work, those who also have a young and budding family to cater for such as with millennial young couples have an extra cross to carry. With babies waking up nursing mothers and fathers in the middle of the night and the everyday demands from young kids, the fatigue keeps piling up until it reaches an unpalatable breaking point.

You may as well picture going through a work-home-church or other routine cycles in a whole year without any form of fulfilling rest. There is no doubt fatigue does transfer into our daily routines in undesirable ways. Nagging, sulking, inactivity, aggression, passive aggression, temper and other undesirable traits often unconsciously mar the day of a sleep-deprived individual.

Researchers and wellness professionals, however, recommend at least 8 hours of sleep daily, to function optimally. But how do we meet up with all the deficit of sleep which we have been deprived of? After doing the maths and finding out that an 8-hour sleep is exactly one-third of the total hours you have in a day, you may summarily conclude that an 8-hour sleep is either a luxury or for the lazy. Nothing can be further away from the truth with such a belief.

The body is just like a machine and it needs its rest too for it to function for as long as an expected lifetime. If you are a 30-year-old adult, it simply translates that your body has been working non-stop for roughly 262,800 hours all your lifetime. Knowing this will make you appreciate that the body also needs the best conditions for the cells to be adequately nurtured. Therefore, the importance of sleep cannot be overstated.

But the question of how exceptionally busy people can manage to have a successful life and at the same time have adequate rest lingers. A simple key to unlocking and shortcutting adequate sleep is through power naps.

Power naps are the types of a nap in the most unusual circumstances but which are determinately planned. The timing for napping varies with each sleep need. But for most sleep-deprived individuals, a 20-30 minute nap is often recommended. Researchers have discovered that when napping goes beyond 30 minutes, an individual may feel more groggy when awake and that effectively defeats the whole purpose of napping. Other types of napping do go beyond 30 minutes before it crosses into the sleep inertia state where recovery takes longer.

Power naps, however, must not be taken as a replacement for the major sleep, no matter how short. The essence of the power nap bypass is to provide an avenue to make up for the shortage in the recommended 8-hour sleep cycle.

So whether at work or at home, you may want to get a quiet space, sit, set an alarm, relax every muscle in your body and channel your mind to the flow of blood from your head, to your toes, to the fingertips, then sleep and come back revitalized after 20-30 minutes of indulging in a power nap.

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Adedoyin Tella

Adedoyin is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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