Tag Archives: REM

Sleep, Power-Naps the benefits

Published by:

A power-nap can be from a couple of minutes to no more than 90 minutes research has indicated, and having a power-nap can have many beneficial results.

As in the previous article Sleep Power-Nap, it has been found that when REM sleep is attained, the brain passes short-term memory to long-term memory, the brain learns, the plasticity of the brain occurs. In Berkeley continuing research indicates that a 15 minute to 35 minute “power-nap” is the most efficient to obtain best results for increased cognitive learning and increases in IQ.

There is a saying in English, “If you have a problem, sleep on it.” How often have you woken in the middle of the night with an answer to a question you have been searching for the previous day? For me, many times. A “power-nap” may be the answer to problem solving.

“Power-naps” may help us to be more creative, as stepping away from a problem will help us gain insights to new ideas, find loose associations which we may have missed having been too close to the subject, or just dreaming to hallucinate new ideas.

Often our brain becomes overloaded with information, for some this is alright, they can cope, but for the majority, this overload is too much, by having a “power-nap” the brain has time to dump unnecessary information, clear working storage, sort-out and link associated ideas, in computer terms undertake a defragmentation, leaving room for more learning and information. Even just standing up from our desk, our study book will perhaps be enough.

Taking the afternoon nap, even at the desk research has found, reduces the stress hormones, thus leading to a more focused and risk free afternoon and evening. We can become more alert, energetic and having more stamina. Our mood can change and we will be more efficient.

“Power-naps” can be beneficial to health and well being as it triggers cell repair, maintains hormone levels and their maintenance. It has also been seen to reduce the risk of heart disease, as research on young men from Greece, where the culture is taking an afternoon snooze, nap or siesta, when compared to other young men who did not “power-nap” had a 35+% lower risk of heart related deaths.

People who say cannot sleep at night, like a certain person I know, can help themselves by having a “power-nap”, as it seems that the cumulative sleep over 24 hours will be equivalent to a straight 8 hours.

Can a session of hypnosis produce the same results? I believe so, as work I have done with colleagues produce good results, especially as hypnosis produce sleep like states, i.e., REM, paralysis or rigidity of the outer limbs, and brain waves similar to REM sleep or Delta sleep.

Other experiments I did and introduced into an intensive language course in Istanbul, Turkey, seemed to prove that the participants who were in-class from 9am till 9pm, with breaks, and whom I placed in a trance for 30 minutes in the afternoon and early evening, learned better than those who did not attend the hypnotic sleep time.

So now I have earned a “power-nap”, sitting here on a comfortable sofa with a cooling breeze lulling me towards downtime.


Power Nap

See other sleep related articles on blog. CLICK

Sleep Power-Nap

Published by:

sleeping man power nap

 I do not know what it is, the heat, the humidity, or the different time zone to the UK, Malaysia being eight hours in front, but often I need an afternoon nap, a small sleep in the afternoon.

This afternoon sleep, may last from ten minutes to one hour, but I find it such a deep sleep, the whole body plus my brain seems to shut down.

When working in Saudi Arabia, we had a time when the office hours were changed from working 9am – 6pm, to working 9am – 1pm, we would then go home to return to the office at 5pm and work until 9pm.

I would enjoy an afternoon sleep, away from the midday heat, but what a waste of a day, by the time we had returned home in the afternoon, had lunch and a nap, it was time to go back to the office, and in the evening, by the time we got home, prepared a meal, it was time to get to bed.

On my many trips to China giving training, it really confused me to see straight after lunch, office workers, participants, ordinary people, suddenly fall asleep at their desk, in their chair, but just for say half an hour.

Much research has been undertaken on afternoon naps, or what is known as “power-naps”.

In a California University, many years ago, researchers undertook tests on a group of cats.

The cats were taught a challenge, something special to do, and their brain waves were monitored. After a while the group of cats were split into two, and one of the groups was allowed to sleep or nap, whilst the other was allowed to learn the challenge.

A while later, the group of cats were woken, and the two groups were tested on how well they had learned the challenge. It was the group of cats that had slept who had mastered the challenge better. Sleep had increased learning.

Whilst the cats were taking the nap, researchers noticed unusual brain activity, and at a time when the sleep was at its’ deepest, when the cats entered REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. The researchers said that this was the first time they had seen the brain learning, the short-term memory passing information to long-term memory, a function they called the plasticity of the brain.

Further research has been carried out on REM sleep, in Harvard University (USA) and University of Surrey (UK). It was found that when nappers took 1 hour to 90 minutes sleep say around 2pm, and which involved slow wave sleep, that is light sleep, which also included REM sleep, that is deep sleep which is often identified with dreams, they performed better than those who did not sleep or had a “power-nap“.

It was also noted that the “power-nap” enhance performance of work and duties in the afternoon, but remarkably only if REM was achieved as well as light sleep. Also noted was that the “power-nap” was no substitute for a normal good nights sleep.

Research at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center suggests that a nap does not effect the normal nights sleep, in fact they found that the nap could be beneficial for improved cognitive performance, to perform arithmetic, decision-making and reaction time tests and mental for up a day after.

It is said that there have been famous and great “power-nappers” in our time including Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong (the cyclist), yachtswoman Ellan MacArthur, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison, and that they could/can exist with a few hours sleep a night. But experts say that a full night’s sleep is still necessary for many bodily functions.

Will a “power-nap” influence the circadian rhythm or biological clock? No, only if you take more than 90 minutes for a nap.

sleeping man power nap sleeping man power nap

So sleep and nap well, I will.

See other sleep related articles on blog. CLICK