In today’s episode, Matt shines a spotlight on the science behind napping and explores the optimal nap duration for various cognitive benefits. He starts by introducing the concept of napping and its benefits for the brain and body, and then discusses sleep inertia, the groggy feeling upon awakening from a nap, and its potential impact on brain performance.
Matt walks through the dose-response curve of naps, starting with ultra-short power naps of five minutes or less, which show no evidence of sleep inertia but offer minimal cognitive benefits. He then progresses to 10-minute naps, which demonstrate improvements in alertness and sustained attention. The benefits continue to increase with 15-minute and 20-minute naps, enhancing alertness, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. However, sleep inertia becomes more noticeable with longer naps, such as 30-minute to 60-minute durations, although the cognitive benefits are more significant and long-lasting.
Lastly, Matt shares the origin of the term "power nap" and how it emerged from research conducted by Dr. David Dinges and Dr. Mark Rosekind for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to combat sleep deprivation among pilots. They discovered the benefits of preemptive napping to build resilience against subsequent sleep deprivation during long-haul flights, leading to the adoption of the term "power nap" by the FAA.
Listen in today to gain valuable insights into the art and skill of napping, emphasizing the importance of finding the right nap duration to balance cognitive benefits and sleep inertia. #TheNapPodcast #NapScience #PowerNap
Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
The good people at InsideTracker are one of the sponsors of this week's episode, and they are generously offering a special 25% off any one of their programs for anyone who uses the above link during the time window of this episode. InsideTracker is a personalized biometric platform that analyzes your blood and your DNA to better understand what's happening inside of you and offers suggestions regarding things that you can do to better try and adjust some of those numbers, optimize them, and, as a result, optimize you.
Also sponsoring this week are those fine people at Athletic Greens, and they are generously offering 3 benefits for anyone who uses the above link for their first order: 1) a discount on your order; 2) a one-year free supply of vitamin D; 3) five free travel packs. Athletic Greens is a nutrition drink that combines a full complement of antioxidants, minerals, and biotics, together with essential vitamins. Matt’s been using it for several years now because he’s serious about his health, and because he did his research on the science and ingredients in Athletic Greens and thinks its scientific data can be taken as ground truth.
As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.