Benefits of Naps. How Naps Improve Recovery

In a previous post, we talked about all the various methods you could use to improve your recovery from workouts and make more gains! In this post, we're going deeper into the topic of naps. 


Naps are just short bouts of sleep you use to rest and recover somewhere in the middle of the day. They have a low time cost for a lot of gain and if you aren't taking them yet, you'll be looking at how to take them after this post!


Benefits Of Naps

The benefits of naps have been studied and proven already so they're not really surprising anymore. In exchange for a short nap, you improve several things: 

  1. Productivity levels.

    Many people have the idea that napping is a waste of time that they could be using accomplishing other things. This is actually the OPPOSITE of how it really works. A 20 minute nap has been shown to increase productivity by over 25 percent. That means by spending 20 minutes relaxing, you get a big boost to the actual work you're doing. You can see how this could be even more important to people who have potentially dangerous jobs like drivers, construction workers, etc. If I had an office building with employees, all my employees would be REQUIRED to take some nap and relaxation time for their own sake and for productivity and safety.
  2. Health And Stress Levels.

    Things like work and workouts are stressful on our bodies. And even though workouts can be a "good" stress", they are still stress and if we don't recover from them, our bodies will eventually break down. Naps help to give us a break and recover from the stress. And since stress management is one of the BEST things you can do for your recovery, napping is a great tool to have in the box to help you live a long and healthy life. 


How To Nap

Now I'm pretty sure most of us know "how" to nap. What we are really going to talk about here is how to do it well so we don't wake up feeling like we have a hangover. 

If you nap too long, you'll get too deep into the sleep and you'll wake up feeling a little groggy. But we can avoid this! The trick is to not nap too deeply OR to complete a full sleep cycle. 

For option one, take a nap of up to 20 minutes. A max 20 minute nap will give you all the benefits you want without waking up groggy which is great if you need to wake up and get back to work.  

On the other hand, you can try napping for 90 minutes. This will let you get into deep sleep and then back out of it which is also great! You get all the gains without the grogginess. This one obviously requires more time and not everyone has 90 minutes in the middle of the day. 

If you accidentally do sleep too long, such as in the 30-75 minute range, it's okay. You will experience some grogginess, but it'll clear in about an hour and then you'll also be experiencing the benefits of naps! 


When Is The Best Time To Nap?

Since we know what naps are, why we should take them, and how do take them, all that's left is to know when. The when is easy. Your body will tell you. At some point during the day, you'll probably begin to feel a bit more tired and slower than before. At that point, take time to do some recovery like a nap. It's that simple. Just like your car tells you when it needs gas, your body tells you when it needs recovery. All you have to do is refrain from fighting through that wall and take your nap. 

As a bonus, my favorite technique is to do 10-20 minutes of meditation then 10-20 minutes of a nap. I find this provides a great boost of energy and recovery when needed!

There you have it! Now you know all you need to know about napping. Start scheduling a few minutes to take some time and nap. Let yourself recover so you can be more productive while you work and healthier while you live!