A short nap after lunch - that's what many would like. However, everyday working life rarely offers an opportunity for this. The so-called "power napping" has a good reputation because it is supposed to supply new energy and promote concentration. Is that really the case? Does daytime sleep really have as many advantages as is commonly assumed? In an interview with the "dpa" news agency, an expert explains.
Little time out increases concentration and ensures a good mood
Many people get tired and tired around noon. It is more difficult to concentrate on work, performance decreases, you slow down and mistakes occur more quickly than usual. A short nap is often very attractive, but many professionals do not find time in their stressful working day. This is a shame, because experts attribute many advantages to the nap. Anyone who sleeps in between is therefore fit again, can react more quickly in the further course of the day, work more attentively and concentrated and also have a better mood.
It is better not to take naps in case of sleep disorders
However, according to Prof. Ingo Fietze, some prerequisites would have to be met. Because a power nap at noon is only suitable for people who otherwise have a healthy sleep, says the head of the interdisciplinary sleep medicine center of the Charité University Medicine in Berlin. In addition, the nap only provides new energy if sleep can be made up from the night before, i.e. someone has only slept about four to six hours. It could have an equally positive effect on shift work and the associated irregular and short sleep times.
Sitting position prevents sleeping for too long
"And it should take a maximum of 40 minutes," emphasizes Prof. Ingo Fietze. Otherwise you enter the deep sleep phase, after which it takes 30 to 60 minutes to get mentally back on track. In order not to sleep too long, it makes sense to set an alarm clock or sleep in the sitting position. Because in this you wake up by yourself within 40 minutes. If the general conditions are right, an afternoon nap will provide new energy for three to four hours, according to the expert.
Power Nap can improve memory performance
In a recent study, researchers at Saar University showed that a short sleep can also significantly improve memory performance. As the scientists report in the journal "Neurobiology of Learning and Memory", they had examined a group of students who were supposed to learn words and word pairs first. While half of the participants slept afterwards, the other watched a DVD. It was shown that 50 percent of those who had a short sleep had retained significantly more word pairs than the control group. "Even a short sleep of 45 to 60 minutes led to a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory," explained the neuropsychologist and lead author of the study, Axel Mecklinger, in a statement from the university. (No)