The Effect of Napping on Performance

Want to perform at peak performance? Take a nap!

A recent study had twenty young, physically active men take a nap at four different opportunities.

During each nap time session, they performed jump- and attention tests. They also subjectively rated their feelings, muscle soreness, fatigue, and sleep.

The first nap condition wasn’t actually a nap at all. It was a 0-minute nap, used as a control session. The other naps lasted 25, 35, and 45 minutes, respectively.

Compared to the 0-minute nap, napping improved both physical performance and attention scores. In addition, the subjects said that they felt less fatigued and stressed, and slept better, after taking a nap.

They didn’t feel any different or score differently on fatigue tests depending on how long they napped. Looking at physical performance, however, napping for 35 or 45 minutes improved the results the most. Especially the 45-minute nap.

If you have the opportunity, take a nap. It will help you perform better, and likely improve how you feel as well. If you have the time, napping for at least 45 minutes seems to be most effective.

Reference

Effect of different nap opportunity durations on short-term maximal performance, attention, feelings, muscle soreness, fatigue, stress and sleep. Physiology & Behavior, Volume 211, 1 November 2019, 112673.

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