Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Science of the Über Napping

I take power naps to extend my energy and day. It gives myself more time to practice becoming Übermensch! My goal is to obtain a strong mind and body from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. 

At times I have experimented with Polyphasic sleep but didn't get the results that I was hoping for. So after a few adjustments I decided that a nap of 20 minutes mid day would be the best bet and help me achieve my goal. This gives me a total of 18 hours and 40 minutes of productive time and sleep time of 5 hours and 20 minutes. I guess there are other factors that calculate my need for sleep, like if you are sick or really tired from the previous days workout but I ignore them. I figured that life is too short to get hung up on the "what if's" and not to focus on the days that I haven't achieved the ultimate Über sleep state. I just keep on trying to obtain my sleep patter and figure the repetition will slowly evolve into common practice.

Reading today's LifeHacker post on the science behind naps reminded me of how important my nap routines are. It's simple, adopting a short 20-minute power nap almost always provides a clearer mind and a fresh burst of energy. The practice also helps guarantee a little more energy in the latter part of the day so you have less chance of an evening where you fall asleep on the couch watching TV or nap during your child soccer game.

"According to a growing body of research, napping is a smart thing to do. It can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live a longer, healthier life" - LifeHacker

So what's my advice? How can the fellow travelers on the path to übermensch improve their napping abilities? First and foremost you should remember that this is only a guideline. You know your body and what you can do. If you are not finding yourself at 100% then adjust. Next, I suggest that you read the entire LifeHacker post but until then here are the three points that I find valuable.

1. Keep your naps under 20 minutes. There are multiple references and studies on the benefits of a 20 minute nap.

2. Find a quiet and dark place.  
This helps you settle down quickly and stop your mind from being so active.

3. Set your alarm. 
Consciously you will know that you will wake up at the correct time. Subconsciously you will not worry about not waking up at the correct time.

Remember that your goal is to stay awake longer and be more productive. Looking for more info? Check out this post from that talks about the 10 Benefits of Power Napping, and How to do it.

How have you adjusted your sleep cycle to improve your daily activities?