If you feel the urge to power nap mid-day, don’t fight it. Studies prove that even short naps improve memory, alertness, and mental and physical performance. Here are 3 studies as proof.
In the first study, results showed that after a nap of about 6 minutes, memory performance was significantly enhanced.
In the second study, researchers tested which length was optimal for improvements in mental performance. In conclusion, 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance) and was the overall the most effective afternoon nap duration of the nap lengths. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping.
In the final study, researchers were interested in athletic performance after napping. The afternoon nap lowered heart rate and intra-aural temperature. Alertness, sleepiness, short-term memory, and accuracy at the 8-choice reaction time test were improved by napping. Napping also promotes the release of growth hormone, which is essential for recovery and growth.
Overall, your naps can be as little as 6 minutes long, but try not to rest beyond 30 minutes to avoid deeper sleep that can actually decrease your mental alertness. A brief moment of shut-eye can improve your brain on test day and your body on game day.