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Micro naps, AKA power naps, are beneficial for pretty much everyone—who doesn't want a quick reset with an afternoon snooze. Taking a micro nap provides amazing perks for your health and well-being.
Micro naps are especially important for those who are sleep deprived and/or experiencing microsleep episodes (a micro nap is different from a microsleep episode—we'll get into that soon).
Power naps can help in preventing microsleep episodes and thwarting off that pesky, unwanted feeling of excessive daytime sleepiness.
So, let's start with what exactly are micro naps.
What Are Micro Naps?
Micro naps are as they sound—they are very short power naps, ideally in the range of 10 to 20 minutes long, and are quite beneficial for adults.
Micro naps differ dramatically from long naps that children take (for example, it's healthy for toddlers to sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon, but not adults).
Adults are more likely to feel groggy and out of it if they take a nap that's longer than 20 minutes.
Are micro naps and microsleep episodes the same thing?
They may sound similar, but a micro nap is not the same as a micro sleep.
Micro naps are taken voluntarily, as a way to help you catch up on some z's and give you more energy. They're a lovely afternoon pick-me-up.
Microsleep occurs when you are sleep deprived and can barely stay awake. Episodes of microsleep occur involuntarily. You could fall asleep for up to 30 seconds at a time—and not even realize it, making a microsleep episode potentially dangerous.
The Benefits of Micro Napping
There are many health and wellness benefits that come with micro napping:
- A power nap can help you feel less fatigued and more alert
- Micro naps can help you increase your productivity. Try taking a short snooze on your lunch break to help you get in the zone for the rest of your work day.
- Taking a micro nap is a great way to reduce stress and elevate mood.
- Micro naps have been shown to not only improve memory and cognitive function but also to enhance creativity. If you're running low on inspiration, take a quick power nap.
How to Take the BEST Micro Nap
To feel as fully awake and refreshed as possible after your power nap, there are a few things you should do:
- Take a 10-20 minute snooze in the early afternoon, preferably before 3 PM, for the most effective nap. Sleeping too late in the afternoon can affect your sleep at night.
Find the right time that fits easily into your schedule or routine. The more you stress about trying to squeeze in a nap, the less relaxed you'll feel. It may even end up being harder for you to fall asleep, so make it something easy that you can look forward to!
Make sure to set an alarm before falling asleep so that you don't sleep longer than 20 minutes. Give yourself a few minutes after your nap to gently ease back into the day.
- Embrace the power of a sleep mask to help darken your surroundings. A darker room signals your brain that it's time to rest, making it easier for you to drift off into your micro nap. Just slip on a comfortable, light-blocking sleep mask and you'll be snoozing in no time.
- Create a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment. Dim the lights, keep it quiet, and eliminate external stimuli as much as you can (including phones, TVs, and other electronics). Keep your sleep space a peaceful reprieve for you to escape to.
Fall asleep in luxury with a Blissy Silk Pillowcase
Another way to make your sleep space even more inviting is to rest your head on a Blissy Silk Pillowcase. Made from the highest quality mulberry silk, our luxe pillowcases are extremely soft and comfortable, which helps you feel pampered while getting the best possible sleep. Silk also naturally helps regulate body temperature, which will help you from getting too hot or too cold during your power nap.
Who Needs Micro Naps?
Most adults can greatly benefit from regular micro naps, but it's especially needed if you suffer from sleep deprivation and/or sleep disorders.
Parents (especially those with newborns and multiple children, we see you) often have restricted sleep, which can lead to sleep deprivation.
Night shift workers are at a higher risk of developing a shift work disorder, which can cause insomnia and sleepiness. Micro naps can help reduce fatigue and enhance alertness!
Micro naps can help lessen some symptoms of the very common sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea. Signs of this sleep disorder may include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and high blood pressure.
The average adult should be sleeping at least 7 hours in a single night. If you're not getting enough sleep, micro naps are your new best friend!
Sleep deprivation is no joke
A risk factor for being sleep deprived includes microsleep events.
These can become very dangerous if you're drowsy driving and experience microsleeps for even a few seconds. Driver fatigue and episodes of microsleep can unfortunately lead to car accidents.
Sleep-deprived workers operating machinery, including heavy machinery, or who are completing other monotonous tasks, are also at risk from dangerous microsleep episodes.
Don't Be Sleep Deprived—Take Micro Naps
Micro naps can be an extremely beneficial addition to your daily routine. Not only can they help you feel more awake and alert, more refreshed, and even put you in a better mood, but they also give you a great excuse to escape to your comfy sleep space and rest your head on a luxurious Blissy Silk Pillowcase.
Are you looking for more ways to enhance your power nap? Try spritzing a calming Blissy Pillow Mist above your pillow before you snooze!
- F. (2023, January 3). What You Should Know About Microsleep. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-you-should-know-about-microsleep/
- A Method for Napping Time Recommendation Using Electrical Brain Activity. (2020, September 1). IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9082002
- Napping: Do’s and don’ts for healthy adults. (2022, November 9). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/napping/art-20048319
- Lovato, N., & Lack, L. (2010). The effects of napping on cognitive functioning. Progress in Brain Research, 155–166. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-444-53702-7.00009-9
- How Much Sleep Do I Need? (2022, September 14). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
- Masters, M., & Masters, M. (2022, May 26). Toddler Naptime Guide and Schedules. What to Expect. https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler-naps.aspx
- Obstructive sleep apnea - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic. (2021, July 27). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352090
- Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD): Symptoms & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12146-shift-work-sleep-disorder