Shreyanka Mazumdar talks to fitness experts and finds out how a power nap can make you more productive and work wonders for your skin
After a long gruelling week, who doesn’t like to catch up on some beauty sleep for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon to rejuvenate oneself? But what if you could replace that long spell with a power nap every day to feel energetic? Those who have erratic working hours can benefit enormously by napping for 15 minutes in between work.
Napping vs sleeping
One must not confuse napping with sleeping; naps are definitely not a substitute for night-time sleep. They are short breaks that help energise the mind. “Shavasana is the yoga equivalent of power napping and is performed by lying straight on one’s back with a cotton eye-patch tied loosely around the eyes to reach maximum relaxation. It helps you let go of negative thoughts,” says strength conditioning, yoga and fitness expert Praveen Tokas.
Working professionals can benefit immensely from power naps. “It’s a rejuvenating process to enhance your productivity wherein you close your eyes and don’t think about anything in particular. Also, it has anti-ageing benefits. During sleep, growth hormones are released, which promote the production of new cells and renewal of old ones. If you miss your daily dose of power naps, your skin will age more rapidly,” says fitness and power yoga expert Leena Mogre.
The perfect stress buster
It’s important to allow the mind to switch-off and revitalise it. “From the time you wake up in the morning till you go to sleep at night, the body is exhausted by the first half of the day itself. But you don’t realise it because you have trained your body to cope with the situation. After a good nap you feel more alert, focussed and your stress levels are reduced,” says yoga expert Payal Gidwani.
The perfect snooze
A power nap shouldn’t exceed more than 20 minutes. If it’s more than that, then you will enter the first stage of sleep (also called sleep inertia), an untimely break that will make you groggy. “The best time for a power nap is around 2-3 pm. Napping increases the release of testosterone needed for muscle growth. Furthermore, an increase in blood flow in the muscles helps in the recovery of sore muscles from exercise,” concludes Tokas.