Today is part four of our sleep series. We will explain how a power nap works. If you have any questions, write to us and we will answer them in our next podcast!
How do I do a power nap?
- Put away your mobile phone
- Switch off disturbing noises through relaxed music
- Darken the room
- The nap should be between 15 and 30 minutes long (2)
- Coffee-nap: Drink a coffee before you want to do a power nap
- Avoids deep sleep phases (N3 and REM) (7)
How does a power nap work?
- Reduction of sleep deprivation (6)
- Improvement of acute performance in athletes who sleep <7h at night (1,2, 6)
- Increase of attention, alertness and concentration (4)
- Stress relief
- Reduced susceptibility to infections (2)
- A power nap 3 times a week reduces the risk of a heart attack by 37% (5)
The scientific evidence of the effectiveness of power naps is currently insufficiently researched. Studies often speak of a positive or no effect at all.
- Study by Waterhouse et al. 2007 shows an improvement of the sprint performance after a 30 min nap (8)
- REGman findings: slight increase in performance in a high-intensity sprint test after a 30 min nap (9)
- Blanchfield, A. W., Lewis-Jones, T. M., Wignall, J. R., Roberts, J. B., & Oliver, S. J. (2018). The influence of an afternoon nap on the endurance performance of trained runners. European journal of sport science, 18(9), 1177-1184.
- Fullagar, Duffield, Skorski, Coutts, Julian, Meyer IJSPP 2015
- Samuels, 2019 Sport Innovation Summit – reported by. A. Hutchinson, Outside Magazine
- Davies, D. J., Graham, K. S., & Chow, C. M. (2010). The effect of prior endurance training on nap sleep patterns. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 5(1), 87-97.
- Buch Schlafgut, Univ. Prof. Dr. Manfred Walzl, 2005,S90ff, Verlagshaus der Ärzte, Wien 2005
- Boukhris, O., et al., (2019). Nap opportunity during the daytime affects performance and perceived exertion in 5-m shuttle run test. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 779.
- Milner, C. E., & Cote, K. A. (2009). Benefits of napping in healthy adults: impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping. Journal of sleep research, 18(2), 272-281.
- Waterhouse, J., Atkinson, G., Edwards, B., & Reilly, T. (2007). The role of a short post-lunch nap in improving cognitive, motor, and sprint performance in participants with partial sleep deprivation. Journal of sports sciences, 25(14), 1557-1566.
- Meyer, T., Ferrauti, A., Kellmann, M., & Pfeiffer, M. (2016). Regenerationsmanagement im Spitzensport: REGman-Ergebnisse und Handlungsempfehlungen. Sportverlag Strauß.