How To: Take the Perfect Nap

Take the Perfect Nap

When that midday fatigue starts hitting you, sometimes the best solution is to just give in to sleep and nap it off. But how long should you sleep? Nap for too long and you often wake up feeling even worse than before, and it could be hours before you finally feel fully awake.

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Australian researchers conducted a study that back up this idea. They found that not only is a very short nap perfectly fine for recharging your brain, but that longer sleep sessions can cause a period of impaired alertness and performance.

The researchers tested for improvements in measures such as sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance, and found that the magic number was ten minutes. Shorter naps had little to no effect, while longer ones resulted in a period of lessened mental ability directly following the nap.

You can read more on the study's findings here, which includes some information on their methods and conclusions. But basically what it boils down to is this: sleep less to be more productive.

If you decide that ten minutes isn't quite enough, why not make some of that time more interesting by slapping on a pair of lucid dreaming goggles?

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Photos by Steve Wickham, Mark Sebastian

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