Sleep is For The Weak? Try The Power Nap Instead!

Penulis: Shierlen Octavia – 1506733176

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Figure 1 Retrieved from http://www.foamite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/power-nap-at-work-760×428-2.jpg

How long can you sleep during the night? 3, 4, 5, 6 hours? You are lucky enough if you can get 7-8 hours sleep in a day. Nowadays, sleep seems like a privilege that not everyone can get. This may happen especially to the college students. Students are often busy with many kind of activities from organizations, committees, and of course with assignments, especially at the times when the final examination is getting closer! Quite often, we suffer from sleep deprivation in the end, meanwhile the effects are certainly very dangerous! Not only in terms of concentration of learning, but also in many other things. In fact, sleeping serves as a restorative process, energy storage, maintaining performance in cognitive function, and of course, in memory storage (Kolb & Whishaw, 2014). Duh, do we really want the hard work we give all day to memorize the material end up in vain because of lacking of sleep?

So, what can we do to pay the “debt”? Meanwhile, you have so many high-pressure schedules and it’s difficult for you to have adequate sleep. Well, try to apply the methods of power nap. What is power nap and why this method is effective? Basically, sleep comes in five stages. The first stage is marked by the decreasing of electrical brain activity, eye, jaw-muscle movement, and also slower respiration. The second stage—a light but restful sleep—is marked by lower temperature and relaxed muscles, to prepare us to fall into the third and fourth stage—slow-wave sleep and into the fifth stage, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, in which the dreaming becomes more intense (Ketcham, 2014).

Experts believe that power nap occurs in the first two stages of sleep, and you will gain an optimal power nap within the first 20 minutes to give you access to the restorative benefits in stage two. So, how exactly can we do to make the power nap works efficiently? These hints from Mednick and Sulaiman (2014) tell us to:

  1. Do it right after your lunch; if you do this later, you are more likely to fall into deep sleep which will make you feel more tired.
  2. Set up your mind into thinking that this nap does not try to make you lazy. It makes you feel more alert and productive instead.
  3. Avoid drinking coffee or anything that may contain caffeine and foods that are heavy in fat and sugar; it will disturb you from getting an excellent sleep.
  4. Choose a rather dark room or use an eyeshade when napping. Darkness stimulates melatonin, which helps you get a proper sleep.
  5. Find a quiet place where phone’s ringing and passersby won’t disturb.
  6. Raise the room temperature or use blanket; your body temperature drops when you fall asleep.
  7. Set your alarm! Don’t try to make your sleep longer than 20 minutes; it will make you feel more fatigued and dizzy when waking up.
  8. Certain consideration to take a nap if you only have less time (RirianProject):
    1. Try napping for 2-5 minutes (micro-nap) helps you to relieve drowsiness.
    2. Napping for 5-20 minutes (mini-nap) is good to increase stamina and motoric performance.
    3. 20-minutes-nap (power nap) allows you to improve your short-term-memory and is good when you really need to memorize things such as preparing in a test.

So guys, end of the semester is drawing on and you may study all-day-long until you forget to sleep at the night. However, everyone—even a superhero—needs sleep. When it happens, don’t try to look tough—you know that sleep is not for the weak anymore—charge yourself with power nap.

 

References:

Ketcham, C. (2014). How to power nap for all-day energy. The Huffington Post.

Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/power-nap-all-day-energy_n_5798256.html.

Kolb,B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2014). An introduction to brain and behavior. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

RirianProject. (n.d.). 10 benefits of power napping and how to do it. Retrieved from

http://ririanproject.com/2007/09/05/10-benefits-of-power-napping-and-how-to-do-it/.

Sulaiman, M. R (2014). Terapkan 5 trik ini agar power nap anda bisa memberikan hasil maksimal. detikHealth. Retrieved from http://health.detik.com/read/2014/09/17/155500/2693045/763/6/terapkan-5-trik-ini-agar-power-nap-anda-bisa-memberikan-hasil-maksimal.