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Power naps might just be your new cup of coffee

USA - We've all been there: the afternoon meeting is in full swing, yet you can hardly keep your eyes open. What now? Instead of chugging another cup of coffee, scientists suggest taking a power nap or catnap. 

A power nap is beneficial for your mental and physical health. But limit it to 20 minutes.
A power nap is beneficial for your mental and physical health. But limit it to 20 minutes.  © 123RF/iakovenko

A quick nap during the day can boost productivity and sharpen your memory, according to Healthline

However, your nap can backfire if you don't do it right. 

For best results, you should limit the length of your nap to 20 minutes or less. To increase sleep quality, make sure to turn the lights off and keep the room cool. 

The best time for your daytime siesta is early in the afternoon. Avoid sleeping after 3 p.m. or you risk staring at the ceiling past midnight. Especially if you already suffer from insomnia, you should refrain from napping for too long during the day.

While short naps are beneficial for your health in many ways, excessive napping may even have the opposite effect. Especially among the elderly, it has been linked to a higher risk of diseases of all sorts. So don't overdo it. 

If you're scared you may drift off into deep sleep, an easy trick may help you: hold your keys in your hand and lie down, angling your hand in such a way it’s hanging over the edge. Before you enter the deep sleep phase, the key will slip and wake you up as it hits the floor. 

Cover photo: 123RF/iakovenko

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