Em”power”ing your nap : A secret ingredient to increased efficiency — R Voice

Em”power”ing your nap : A secret ingredient to increased efficiency

Gayatri Ramachandran
Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

Aren’t we mostly low-powered by lack of sleep at the same time driven by sleep depriving work or life goals? What do we do about it? 

Recently, ouR voice did see many acknowledging the importance of sleep in their self-care routine and how to revert to the traditional “early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise”. But reality is harsh, what with the life/career goals soaring high, we mostly end up drowsy at work and feeling inefficient, don’t we? 

Being a researcher myself, a woman juggling a family/home, travelling, my lab work, pursuing hobbies, left me disheartened and frustrated many a time that I couldn’t get to sleep well. I said “enough is enough” I HAVE to find a way to improve my mental power and get rid of this drowsy frustration SOMEHOW! Those were times when I didn’t keep a sleep schedule (or) when I kept one and didn’t stick to it. On one such unproductive day, when I was too drowsy to do anything at all and I HAD to sleep, I just laid down on my desk for around half an hour, having gone into very deep sleep. The instant I woke I felt so fresh!! Some infinite energy and enthusiasm that was surging all over me, rearing me to “GO, GET IT”. And that ended as an addiction, a positive one😍. Every noon around 3PM, post lunch when food an digestion added to the sleep deficit, I would get into very deep sleep- an intense power nap that makes the rest of the day much more productive than the first half. 

Now however, thanks to ouR voice, Andrea and several motivating Youtube videos on benefits of good sleep, I decided to “Keep time and sleep, no matter the heavens fall!”. And yet, there are occasional nights on weekdays or weekends when slogging (working is a small word) brings me to sleeping late. The next day feels like hell man! I just don’t even want to hop onto my bike or travel or work at lab or do ANYTHING for that matter. Thats when I remind myself of that power nap, give myself a small push and then I’m off working🤩.

Now, tell me if you’ve tried this and how it worked for you 😊 And if not this, what other techniques do you follow to interject sleep deficit with a coherent day. Its definitely going to be interesting to know better, sav(v)iou/er techniques above a power nap, for a power packed day!

Whats more, I found the right quote for the day had been delivered to my mail this morning, coincidentally, thanks to Editage. Wish you all a productive yet happy week ahead!🤗


Comments

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 168 admin

    What great timing to get that message at that time! I too feel the benefits of sleep when I've had a good nights sleep - but they are infrequent. Maybe I need to start a napping routine like you. I used to work with a Japanese guy who could fall asleep at his desk immediately, nap for 25 minutes, and wake up immediately. That's what I'd like to do but find it hard to sleep in the day.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Thats right@chris leonard. The Japanese accommodate power-napping in their daily work schedule which supports their working efficiency and number of work hours they put in, in those 24hours. Glad to know you are a sleep enthusiast as well!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 881 admin

    Great post @Gayatri Ramachandran! I'm so glad that you're consciously thinking about sleep and the effects it can have on you, both physically and mentally. I'm also thrilled that you've found something that works for you and helps you catch up on sleep during the day, in case you need it. I know that despite every effort, it's difficult to consistently stick to a bed time.

    I'm truly fascinated by your power nap system. I wish power naps worked for me. Unfortunately, pockets of sleep during the day give me a headache once I've woken up 😌 Although this could just be conditioning and I need some more practice. I say this because I take a nap every Saturday afternoon (maybe 2 hours or so) and I don't wake up with a headache or feeling strange. Maybe it's because I know that's a day when I can fully unwind. Something for me to think about.

    One thing that truly helps me sleep around the same time every night, is that I exercise post-work. So while I'm feeling energized after a release of endorphins, my body/muscles are physically exhausted. I cannot explain how much this helps with not just drifting off to sleep but also staying asleep 😅

    I know that this might not work for everyone but it's something I've made part of my day since I started working from home 2 years ago. Curious to learn what works for the others.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    I love the way you explained the post work exercise in terms of the body's physiological mechanism @Andrea Hayward 😍. Yeah I know it works so well right! My partner does that. He goes for a brisk half an hour walk, takes a good shower and then off to sleep. Specially for summers here this works best in cooling the mind and body to drift into deep sleep.

    And regarding your attempts at power-napping, 2 hours is not a nap😂 and you probably shouldn't do it in a fully laid down position. Power naps work best when not extended beyond half an hour and taken in a feet-up, half-lying yet comfortable sleeping position (feet extended below the desk and head-on-the-hands on the working desk @ office or lab or any working space). Most importantly ensure the deepest sleep wave in a definitive DND mode, during that half hour for maximum efficacy. My experience of an after-power nap would be waking up to nothingness, taking me a second to sink in the surroundings, realise where I am and what time of the day it is. Ive spoken here with my limited knowledge Andrea. Hope this makes sense and helps you get outta the sleep-headache-grogginess.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Heading onto the next quarter at top speed as we all are, please pause, take a minute to ponder over "power-nap"ping and let us here from y'all- @Vivien Kretz @Shruti Turner @Jayashree Rajagopalan @Kakoli Majumder @Suman Mundkur @Praveena Ramanujam @Omololu FAGBADEBO@Isurika Sevwandi @Adaora Anyichie - Odis

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 112 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for adding me to this wonderful discussion @Gayatri Ramachandran and reminding me of the power of sleep once again when I am totally away from my self-care routine, with the bombarding news on the economic crisis and civil movements starting here and there. This post is pouring love on my exhausted mind, and I am not exaggerating.

    I can totally relate to the situation elaborated by @Andrea Hayward here. Naps do not work for me, and after a nap, it's really hard for me to wake up, and even though I wake up, to get up I need extra motivation... LOL🤣 I feel more empowered when I am having a complete sleep of about 7-8 hours and I really feel curious for the day after such sleep but I do not feel the same energy after a nap as I feel it was just an invitation card for the sleep but I haven't yet participated in the event (in the sense "sleep"). I hope it make sense😉

    I usually sleep around an hour or so during day time if I am feeling a little under the weather or tired after a physically draining task (or if it's a hot day and I've been walking everywhere in the university without an umbrella) but never felt the need of daytime naps. Hope to explore more on naps this weekend and as @Andrea Hayward clearly mentioned "I say this because I take a nap every Saturday afternoon (maybe 2 hours or so) and I don't wake up with a headache or feeling strange. Maybe it's because I know that's a day when I can fully unwind" I also find this productivity of occasional naps at the weekend or during holiday periods when I am totally aware of the fact that I do not have immediate deadlines approaching so the mind is already clam and relaxed for even a deep sleep🙂

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    I'm glad you felt better going through the post @Isurika Sevwandi 😍. Hopefully good sleep helps you stay motivated through these tough times, be it a nap or good long hours of sleep😊. As long as you are able to stay productive throughout the day and manage not getting stressed or less efficient due to drowsiness, it does not matter clearly as to which one you follow. Ideally good long hours of deep sleep is THE BEST. I initiated a conversation to help improve productivity for those times when we all are sleep deprived and yet do not wish to waste a single minute, owing to deadlines.

    Will continue to keep you and the country in my prayers🤗.❤️ I really hope and wish the country tides over the crisis at the earliest🙏

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 112 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for your prayers @Gayatri Ramachandran as the situation becomes much worse. Your prayers are what Sri Lanka needs now as the government has now imposed curfew to restrict civil movements and protests to shut the voices and social media is banned from yesterday night (thanks to VPNs we manage). This is the real time to think twice on naps and deep sleep to mentally recover from hard feelings and sorry if I totally deviate the conversation because this is what on my mind these days. Lots of love💜🧡💛

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for sharing this @Gayatri Ramachandran ! I definitely do agree, sleeping is absolutely amazing and rejuvenating and one of the most important pillars of self care. 🛏

    For me, it has been hard lately to find the right power napping time frame. I often find myself oversleeping and not being able to fall asleep during the day. Therefore, I have been applying a technique designed for military people which uses the progressive muscle relaxation and I must say that it really really helps and makes me fall asleep within five minutes. It practically has you relaxing muscle after muscle and that really calms me down. I can only recommend it. 😊

    I am happy to read this thread about everyone sharing their sleep experiences and tips as I always look to improve my sleep hygiene. Thank you so much for starting this awesome conversation.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 319 admin
    edited April 4

    Hey @Gayatri Ramachandran. It took me longer to hop on board - I think that's my thing here on R Voice now...being late to the party. 😀 SLEEP - ah what a topic. I like what you propose and I don't completely rule out a power nap during a weekday, I do find it difficult to sleep and then wake up. So the short 30 min period is too little for any kind of nap (I hear ya @Andrea Hayward @Isurika Sevwandi @chris leonard). I liked @Vivien Kretz's strategy of muscle relaxation and I might try that out to see how it may work for me - I'll tell you about it, Vivien. And reading about Andrea's exercise regimen has reminded me that I've completely forgotten to go on walks/runs or even resume my 45 min stretching sessions at home - yikes! As for my sleep - I suffer from insomnia, am a very light sleeper, find it difficult to stop thinking, and can't go back to sleep if I wake up perhaps to the ungodly-morning-hour cries of my cat/anyone in the house waking up - so I am never well-rested on any given day at any given point in time. This also means that I don't always feel fresh every morning. I deal with this by going on a morning walk (which I realized I'd forgotten!) or simply stretching for a few minutes in the morning. But in my case what mostly happens is something I have frequently referred to as "sleep accumulation". All of this sleep I am depriving myself of accumulates and comes crashing down on me after which I spend about 8-10 hours sleeping on that fateful weekend. And when I do this, I feel truly rested. And this is why power naps don't work for me, except during phases. If I sleep I want all of it (only because I get so little). I am open to change and while I know I have "miles to go before I *regulate my* sleep*" I'm going to thrown in a surprise experiment or two to see what works best for me. All this talk is now making me yawn (not sleep, though).

  • Suman Mundkur
    Suman Mundkur Member Posts: 11 ✭✭

    Thank you for this beautiful write-up Gayatri Ramachandran! I just had a 'power' nap before reading this and feel like a horse! The afternoon one is difficult sometimes if it stretches longer than intended.

    The last time I went for an eye checkup and reported of drowsy feeling, my doctor said that it is dry eyes that cause fatigued to the eyes and the eyes naturally want to close. Refresh Tears eye drops were recommended. It is just that I forget to blink regularly and consciously while working, staring at the screen. The mind is focused and engrossed in absorbing the content. On the other hand, I get teary-eyed when sleep-deprived. These are personal experiences. However, there is no doubt in the em"power"ing when you cannot afford the luxury of the blissful 8 hours!

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Yes I am on the crisis news everyday, first thing in the morning, and take a moment to be grateful for the moments of peace we enjoy. And like you said @Isurika Sevwandi, these are the best times to sleep well since we never know when we can again. Reality is reality, no hiding that! Hopefully the technique shared by @Vivien Kretz helps you relax before sleeping. We are with you, as always, keeping hope alive and praying fervently for this to end ❤️

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Great technique @Vivien Kretz! Very novel. Thank you so much for participating in the conversation and adding value to it😊. I think if I tried applying it I might just end thinking about my muscles and then pass onto mechanisms of contraction and relaxation, cell biology,...etc and never doze off😂

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    "Miles to go before I sleep" Loved it!@Jayashree Rajagopalan - You can literally follow that like @Andrea Hayward pointed out, to see if that helps you sleep. I am reminded of one of my friends who told/keeps telling me this still, to date. Exactly same symptoms of insomnia and grappling with light sleep. I'm not telling this to frighten or demotivate you 😂 but she NEVER could get out of it till date, no matter what she tried.

    I really really hope you are an exception and the above mentioned techniques work fail-safe on you.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    WOW! This is EXACTLY what I go through @Suman Mundkur! You couldn't have elaborated my state of alternating between dry and teary eyes due to lack of blinking and absorbing into the screen(most importantly lack of sleep), better. Guess our DNA is almost identical with respect to this phenotype?😁. Same symptoms and the teary eye thingy is what makes me immediately take my power nap. Fortunately my eyes water only with lack of sleep the previous night , so I didn't have to consult a doc or initiate drops. Half n hour later, quoting you- when I wakeup as fresh as a horse my eyes no more water despite abysmal blinking/screen staring.

    Am I not so glad to have discovered how closely related we are on power napping!😍.

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 296 admin
    edited April 4

    @Gayatri Ramachandran Jumping in late here - Sleep is one of my favorite topics when it comes to self-care - and one we often tend to gloss over. I'm really big on sleeping well - I absoutely CANNOT function without at least 6 hours of sleep and try to get my 8 hours on at least 4 days of the week. @Suman Mundkur I too have extremely dry eyes and there are days when my eyes are tired out and I can't keep them open any longer. But unfortunately, I can't fall asleep during the day - so just keep my eyes shut and relax for 15 minutes. That's the closest I get to a power nap, and it definitely refreshes me a good deal, so I can imagine how much better an actual nap would be. It's good though that I can't fall aslep during the day, considering I'm a pretty deep sleeper - once I sleep, I'm not likely to wake up for a couple hours at least :D :D

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    I relate to this so much @Jayashree Rajagopalan . I am never well-rested as well. You are not alone. 💛 Insomnia often comes with crazy dreams for me personally and that muscle relaxation technique really has helped a lot. I hope it helps you too.

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    I had the exact same experience lately @Suman Mundkur. My eyes got super dry as well which lead to headaches and pain. 👁 I really think the screen time might be doing something not only to our focus but our eyes as well. I also got eye drops as a recommendation, especially oil-based ones. It also helps to consciously shift eye focus between things in proximity and distance to you.