2 Powerful Types Of Power Naps: Caffeine And Nicotine Power Napping

2 Powerful Types Of Power Naps: Caffeine And Nicotine Power Napping

 
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Basics Of Naps And Power Napping

A power nap is a very short nap with the inclusion of a stimulant (essentially use Caffeine/Coffee or Nicotine). R R R

This reduces post-nap drowsiness and improves cognitive function (power-napping also helps elderly with cognition). R R

This may increase alertness for 3-6 hours. R R R

Power-naps may be useful for those who are night-shift workers. R

Although naps are beneficial, frequent long daily naps may be related to underlying medical pathology, but naps (in general) of any duration may be healthy, although more studies are needed on the health effects of daily naps. R R

Night Time Napping

I have noticed when I have higher levels of inflammation, I have lighter sleep and will “nap” throughout the second half of the night.

Those who have lighter sleep at night may be better off with biphasic sleep (or diphasic, bimodal or bifurcated sleep). R

Essentially, you may be better sleeping overall 10-12 hours with a short 1-3 hours of awake time in the middle of your sleep (usually around 2-4am). R

Health Benefits Of Napping

 
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  • Childhood development for memory (ages <5) R R

  • Mood improvement - also higher tolerance to frustration and less impassivity R R

  • Improved quality of life R

  • Improved sprinting performance and motor performance R R

  • Improved verbal fluency R

  • Increased alertness, attention, cognition, and productivity R R R R

  • Increased learning ability - specifically perceptual (hippocampal-dependent) and language learning R R R R

  • Reduced cortisol (then rises post-nap) R

  • Reduced fatigue R

  • Reduced inflammation (suppresses IL-6 secretion) R

Negatives Of Napping

These are not necessarily negatives of napping, but excessive napping may be good indicators of these:

  • Higher C-Reactive Protein (could be an immune adaptive response or naps are a result of higher inflammation) R R

  • Higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes (association with those who are obese) R

  • Increased risk of all-cause mortality (for napping less than 1 hour per day on average) - independent of age, sex, social class, educational level, marital status, employment status, body mass index, physical activity level, smoking status, alcohol intake, depression,self-reported general health, use of hypnotic drugs or other medications, time spent in bed at night, and presence of preexisting health conditions; increased risk of death for those with pulmonary problems R

  • Increased risk of sleep deprivation R

  • Multiple Sclerosis R

  • Poorer nighttime sleep quality R

  • Poor pulmonary/respiratory function R

Nap Timing

10-20 minutes (for NREM sleep) or 90 min for 1 sleep cycle. 

Sleeping within 30-60 minutes will make you feel groggy, although around 60 min may help with deep-wave sleep. 

Some people may need napping for a longer period of time, all depending on their inflammation levels (blunts orexin). R R

Doing these during siesta hours (1-5PM) works best IMO.

If you do not live in an area that respects the siesta hours, finding a workspace that allows naps may also be a good idea. R

The Nicotine Power Nap

 
 

Take 0.25-2mg of nicotine lozenge and place it under the tongue and take a 5-10 minute nap.

When I wake up after doing this, I am hyper-focused on my work.

The Caffeine Power Nap

 
 

The coffee power nap includes Coffee (or Super Coffee) or Caffeine (~60-120mg).

You can also use an energy drink, but I find the sugar in them to disrupt my ability to fall asleep.

When I do this combo, I have clearly more physical and mental energy.

Other Ways To Improve Naps

Light

I will usually use my Bright Light Device (or go outside/sunlight) right after I wake up.

Environment

A few more things I will add in (depending where I’m doing this) is a Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs, and White/Brown/Pink Noise Machine (brown and pink noise works best for me).

Proper Positioning

Sleeping on your back makes it easier for your head, neck, and spine to align and keep your body in a neutral position - add a pillow or two under your knees - this reduces pressure, helps with natural curves, or and minimizes contortions added to your neck or back.

It helps take pressure off of your legs and lower back- you can do something like the savasana yoga pose (video 1 and video 2).

If falling asleep on your back is difficult, sleeping on your side is a good alternative.

Although laying on your side can create a twisting pressure on the lower back from your top leg tending to fall forward, which can also irritate the sciatic nerve, putting a pillow in-between your legs will reduce the strain.

It eases twisting pressure while providing welcome support to keep the spine and leg neutrally aligned.

Sleeping on the right side can help with vagus nerve tone, while sleeping on your left side may help with gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn.