Powernap – the Healthy Alternative to Coffee

Indulging in a fifteen-minute break can do wonders for your mind, body and heart, so why not put that cup of Joe down and submit to some sleep?

Coffee has been a part of the work culture all over the world. Employees take their long sips before they even sit behind their desks. Creative entrepreneurs have proudly themselves as fueled by it. While there's nothing wrong with your cappuccino, completely relying on it for your daily performance can affect your health.

Business coach Lisa Quast sat down with Cristen Harris, a professor at Bastyr University's Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science, to discover how much coffee is the right amount. In her Forbes post, she revealed that in the US, the average caffeine consumption is about 2 cups of coffee, but Harris pointed out that the caffeine levels are based on the roast, and the effects vary on one's tolerance. “Overconsumption of caffeine can cause anxiety, jitters and nervousness,” reveals Harris. “It can also cause an inability to focus, digestive discomfort, insomnia and irritability.”

So, what could be a healthier coffee replacement? You might want to switch to a protein-packed breakfast, an herbal tea, or much better, submit to sleep.

There’s power in naps

Researchers call this powernap. According to a 2009 study by the European Sleep Research Society, daytime powernaps increase one's alertness and performance. This cross-cultural phenomenon is done as a response to many reasons, such as sleep loss, daytime sleepiness and as a solution for those with sleep disorders.

Once seen as a taboo in the office, naps are now recognized for their many advantages. In the recent years, we've seen industry giants taking notice of their employees' health, which subsequently affects the company's overall gain. In her book Thrive, Arriana Huffington mentions Google, Uber, Nike and even NASA who have now offered napping benefits to their staff.

Inc. listed many work-related benefits of powernaps. This includes:

  • Better problem-solving capabilities
  • Enhances memory
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts one's capacity for learning
  • Minimizes the risk of errors
  • Increases mental awareness

With the right amount of napping, you can improve your work-life with better physical and mental energy throughout the day. According to Sara Mednick, associate professor of psychology at the University of California, naps may even have the same amount of benefits as a full night's sleep!

How do you nap like a pro?

Powernaps can be immersed in your daytime routine. According to experts, it is best to take naps at the same time every day to train your body to rest at a particular moment. Most of us experience a dip after lunch, about 1 to 3 pm, and which is why we naturally feel sleepy in the afternoon.

At best, sleep in between 10 to 20 minutes. Prolonged napping may induce grogginess which requires more time for you to get back on track. Set an alarm if you feel you might sleep for an extended time.

To catch the best restorative sleep, take your powernap in a quiet environment. If you need to stay by your desk, listen to ambient sounds and sleep with a face mask. Science show that cool, dark and noise-free settings are most conducive to sleep.

See the difference of getting powernaps. Allow your body to restore its natural wakeness with this all-essential afternoon snooze.

Jonas Diezun

Jonas is Co-Founder at RADICE. He is an avid reader, soccer player and loves hiking in the Munich mountains. He usually writes about productivity, sleep and the science behind both. He studied at in Munich and New York, and worked in Startups. His best advice for sleep? Have a fixed routine and see sleep & recreation as the most important pillar for your health. It determines everything.
Find his favourite items here

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