A power nap, also known as a Stage 2 nap, is a short slumber of 20 minutes or less which terminates before the occurrence of deep slow-wave sleep (SWS), intended to quickly revitalize the napper. The expression "power nap" was coined by Cornell University social psychologist James Maas.
The 20-minute nap increases alertness and motor skills. Various durations may be recommended for power naps, which are very short compared to regular sleep. The short duration prevents nappers from sleeping so long that they enter the slow wave portion of the normal sleep cycle without being able to complete the cycle. Entering deep, slow-wave sleep and failing to complete the normal sleep cycle, can result in a phenomenon known as sleep inertia, where one feels groggy, disoriented, and even more sleepy than before beginning the nap. In order to attain optimal post-nap performance, a Stage 2 nap must be limited to the beginning of a sleep cycle, specifically sleep stages N1 and N2, typically 18–25 minutes.
People who regularly take these short naps, or catnaps as they used to be called, may develop a good idea of the duration which works best for them, as well as which tools, environment, position, and associated factors help produce the best results. Power naps are effective even when schedules allow a full night's sleep. Mitsuo Hayashi and Tadao Hori have demonstrated that a nap improves mental performance, even after a full night's sleep.
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Famous quotes containing the word power:
“There is a Restlessness springing from the consciousness of power not fully utilized, which must be present wherever there is unused power of whatever kind. This is the restlessness of the germ within the seed, struggling upward and downward towards its proper life. ... it is a striving full of pain, the cutting of tender flesh by the fetters of the captive as he struggles against their pitilessness.”
—Anna C. Brackett (18361911)