[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to take a nap, but don’t feel like you have the time? You are probably like a lot of Americans who find they are lagging in the late afternoon – tired, lethargic, irritable, brain turned to mush – sound familiar?

Before you turn to the vending machines or a nasty energy drink that just postpones the crash, try a short nap instead. These naps are not only free, but quick and extremely effective, even more effective in fact, than naps of longer length.

In several studies, researchers found that 10 to 15 minute naps were the best to improve alertness and cognitive performance, (the opposite of brain mush), compared to naps 30, 45, and 90 minutes in length. 2,3,4, 5.

Now who doesn’t have 10 minutes to improve their mental efficiency, productivity, and how much better they’ll feel for the rest of the day? (Bathroom breaks can take longer, and everyone seems to fit those in regularly.)

Perhaps the best nap method is the Power Nap. You don’t need a pillow and a blanket; you don’t even need to go to sleep! You just need a comfortable place to lie on your back, put your feet up, and breathe comfortably.

One of the reasons power naps work so well is because the unique body positioning redistributes blood flow throughout the body. It also relieves tension in the shoulders and in the back. This, along with the restful breathing, results in an immediate increase in energy, the ability to focus, and a general feeling of rejuvenation. 1

Power Naps are easy to do. They don’t take long. There are no dangerous side effects, and the results are amazing. Perhaps this is why power naps are the favorite among thousands of people who have used them to relax and recharge.

You can do power nap on your own, or you can follow along with a download to your mp3 player, i Pod, i Pad, computer, or other audio device.


1. The World Is Not a Stressful Place, Time for a Nap . . . A Power Nap, p.134. Michael Olpin Ph.D. Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance, Weber State University.

2. Journal of Sleep Research. 2002 Sep;11(3):213-8.The recuperative value of brief and ultra-brief naps on alertness and cognitive performance. Tietzel AJ, Lack LC.

3. Ergonomics. 2004 Jul 15;47(9):1003-13. Post-lunch nap as a worksite intervention to promote alertness on the job.Takahashi M, Nakata A, Haratani T, Ogawa Y, Arito H. National Institute of Industrial Health, 6-21-1, Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8585, Japan. [email protected]iih.go.jp

4. Clinical Neurophysiology. 1999 Feb;110(2):272-9. The effects of a 20 min nap in the mid-afternoon on mood, performance and EEG activity. Hayashi M, Watanabe M, Hori T.Department of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-hiroshima, Japan.

5. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 1998 Apr;52(2):203-4. The effects of a 20-min nap before post-lunch dip. Hayashi M, Hori T.Department of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.

6. Six Minutes to a Better Memory – Health Tip – Real Age Health

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  • AmyJo Proctor

    Power Naps should be a requirement for everyone. when I spend the 10-15 minutes to take a power nap at about 11:30 (that is when I get sluggish) it revives me and I get twice as much done in the remainder of my work hours than on the days that I “don’t have time” for a power nap

  • I love these 15 minute power naps! I would request to download them and do it. Being in the stress management class I was the same way feeling like I didn’t have time to do a power nap or any of the other techniques, but once I did them (especially the power nap) I notice I was getting more done.

  • Haley

    I loved this article! I need to have my boyfriend read it, he insists long hour naps are best. I find more benefit from power naps. When I take longer naps, I wake up and still feel tired.

  • Megan Auton

    I really enjoyed this article! I LOVE taking naps but I really don’t have the time, and when I do, I usually take a 2-3 hour nap and wake up even more tired than before I went to sleep. I think it’s great that we can be rejuvenated in just a matter of a few minutes and anywhere for that matter!

  • Lacey

    I have personally seen how well the power nap works and believe everyone should try it at least once.

  • Melissa

    I love that power naps are not actually “falling asleep” I always thought that which is why I never did it. But reading this and knowing that I can just lay down and put my feet up, breathing counts? You bet Ill be doing this more often! If not daily!! This is great!

  • Adam

    I just did the powernap exercise from this website and it worked great! What I notice more than anything is the mental rest that takes place in addition to the body rest.

  • Preston Healy

    I agree that power naps give you an extra boost of energy to last throughout the day. It seems to help when stressed to go lay down for 15 minutes and just relax and get things off your mind.

  • Devanie Webber

    This is a great article! I didn’t know that you didn’t have to actually be asleep to have a power nap. I totally agree that they refuel your body because I rely on short naps to get through my crazy day.

  • Corinne Cannon

    I tend to have a weird aversion to naps because I feel like I’m wasting time, but yet I always get tired in the afternoon. This article helps a lot knowing that even a short amount of time can help rejuvinate me. I’m excited to try!

  • william

    I read this article because I am usually in need of a good nap. Who would have though a power nap would be so easy! Instead of sleeping for 45 minutes, im just going to kick my feet up and lay down for about 10 minutes and breathe.

  • Aundrea

    I really like this article because now I know that a power nap doesn’t mean I have to fall asleep. I can keep on going through the day if I just can close my eyes for 10-15 minutes.

  • Taylorb

    I am a firm believer of power naps. My wife takes one every day at 3:30 and the difference in her mood and energy after is a complete 180. If she is cranky, just give her 20 minutes for her nap and she comes back a completely different person. I don’t know where I would be without power naps.

  • Ashley Hancey

    I really enjoyed learning about the power nap! I feel so much better after doing that excerise than taking an actual two hour nap and feeling grougy. Awesome!

  • Rosa Portillo

    I never believed power naps really worked. When I actually tried it for the first time, I was AMAZED!!! I absolutely love power naps now! Great tool to use!

  • braden

    Great article and very informative! I had no idea that you didn’t even need to fall asleep in order for it to be called a power nap.

  • Weston Charlesworth

    I had heard of this before and had never really tried it, I’ve heard that when you nap you need to make sure you don’t do it in your bed as your body goes into full sleep mode. That personally helped me a ton, I’ll have to try power napping with it and see how much more it helps.

  • Cameron Anderson

    I have been trying to do this in between school and work. I’ve found on days that I do this, I feel much more rejuvenated and alert once I get to work. I don’t feel like I’m overloading myself by going to school and then having to work for the rest of the day like I do on days I don’t take a nap.

  • Jase Christiansen

    I often take power naps and they have been one of the most effective things that I do to regain focus and to restore energy to my mind and body. I also like to stretch after my naps. Feels so good!!

  • alexis

    I feel like power naps are way more beneficial and convenient, especially for a mother of two where its impossible to have both kids asleep at the same time, sometimes 10 minutes is all I get. Now I know that is all I need. :]

  • Kellie Aldridge

    When I used to be exhausted in the afternoons all i would want to do is sleep, but couple hour naps always made me more groggy and sleepy then I was before the nap so I quit taking naps. Thanks to this article I will have to try the power naps instead. I really enjoyed this article.

  • Sean Bishop

    I agree that simply resting can count as a nap. I do it often, and it really saves me some days. If I let myself fall asleep for a couple of hours, I definitely pay for it that night. Instead, taking a power nap is a form of meditation that’s more for the body than the mind, I think. Lying down and breathing can just let everything stop for a few minutes. This obviously helps the mind, too, but unlike meditation—you can really just let everything go instead of focusing on your mind.

  • Jacob Jamsa

    I know that the positioning the power nap has you in is the best. I work at a physical therapy clinic, and when we put patients in this position, they are much more relaxed and comfortable than someone who is in a flat laying position. Doing this exercise was great for me and i’m definitely going to continue doing it.

  • Jeremy Rushton

    These had become a very beneficial part of my daily routine at the beginning of the year, as I had not been sleeping as much. Having a sick wife, left me with the responsibility of watching 2 young kids, helping her and working/going to school full time. These were a mind and body saver!

  • Colton S.

    I find that the power nap doesnt really help me, I do feel more rejuvenated after i take the 10 minute nap but later that night i can not fall asleep so it doesn’t really help me.

  • Chris P.

    I usually take one to two hour naps a couple times a week. I always wake up from them feeling just as tired as before. I downloaded and tried the power nap mp3, and I was quite surprised that it actually helped. I will definitely be doing power naps instead of longer ones from now on.

  • joel shumway

    thank you for this information it is a good thing to know that all you need is ten minutes. maybe that is why after some naps I feel more tired , maybe I just need a shorter one. Also I work at 3 am on an assembly line and when we have a stoppage at work for ten minutes I find a place to lay down and take the much needed power nap.

  • Amy P.

    I have always taken longer naps because I figured the more rest that you can fit it the better. I grew to HATE naps because I always wake up groggy and cranky. I think power naps may be an effective tool to recharge throughout the day. I am also an energy drinkaholic so I could defiantly use an alternative method to gain a little more power throughout the day.

  • Chase B.

    I always feel tired in the middle of the day. I tried a power nap today, and I am more energetic and alert than I have felt in a long time. Hooray!

  • Tim Sondrup

    I didn’t know you didn’t actually have to fall asleep to take a power nap and feel refreshed! I thought it was interesting how redistribution of blood flow can have positive effects on the body. And the great thing is, 10 to 15 minutes isn’t long at all! A much healthier choice than energy drinks, for sure!

  • leslee

    I will have to completely agree with this article. I find myself exhausted in the middle of the day, and if I just take a good 10 minutes to just lay down, not needing to actually fall asleep, then I feel so much better and can go throughout the rest of my day being more productive.

  • Alyssa

    I love taking naps after class, while I’m doing homework, after eating a big meal, pretty much anytime. They always last way longer than 10 minutes and sometimes I don’t get everything done in a day that I planned to. I’m excited to try this and see if I can cut down on my nap time.

  • Bronson Pace

    This gives me the energy to push on through school and work. I love these power naps and I know they will be a positive influence in my life for years to come.

  • Richelle Johnson

    I really learned a lot from this article. I usually am the type who think that taking naps are not in my schedule. I am always drinking energy drinks and not being able to focus because I still do not have the energy I need. This article helped me a lot and I am willing to give it a try!

  • Lacey Kap

    I took a Stress Management class one semester and I learned all kinds of ways to relieve stress. We went over everything from meditation, yoga, power naps, visualization, breathing exercises, and so much more. My favorite by far was the meditation, yoga and of course the power nap! I feel as though I hardly have any time for sleep these days and I feel so rejuvenated after I take a quick power nap, way more then if I take a nap that lasts 30 minutes or more.

  • Tiffany S

    I did this and now I am totally addicted and I love it! I do it for “me” time. It helps my attitude, my focus, my concentration, and my stress level. Amazing how fifteen minutes can make your whole day better!

  • Rachel Barker

    I loved this article because I have always argued with my parent’s that my power naps were very beneficial in the middle of the day. They did not understand that a 15 minute nap could keep me mentally alert. I showed them this article, leaving them speechless.

    • Athena Waltz

      I really like power naps. They give you more energy and let you continue your day in a better fashion. I never argue with having more sleep.

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