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Originally published February 21 2011

Power naps lower stress, boost energy and increase productivity

by Elizabeth Walling

(NaturalNews) Power naps are one of the best kept secrets of successful people. These short naps (usually thirty minutes or less) are surprisingly refreshing and leave you with increased energy and improved productivity. These miniature naps are usually taken during the afternoon, but can be used whenever you need a boost. Power naps rarely involve dreaming. They are more of a meditative state that allows the mind to process information and start fresh.

There have been many studies on napping in recent years. According to the Salk Institute, napping improves heart function, hormonal maintenance, and cell repair. In another study done by NASA researchers, power naps were also shown to improve memory. Other studies indicate that those who nap enjoy productivity boosts, lower stress levels, improved learning ability, and better overall moods.

Anyone who needs to maintain a clear mind can benefit from taking a power nap. A short nap will allow a person to concentrate better and more efficiently process information. The energy boost from a power nap is much more substantial than you might expect from such short period of sleep.

How to Power Nap

- In order to reap all the benefits of a power nap, it`s important to be comfortable. That means finding a comfy place to catch those few minutes of sleep--not just physically comfortable but mentally comfortable as well. This means choosing a private place such as an office or car.

- The lighting should be as low as possible, and the area should be quiet (white noise or relaxing music might be helpful). Try to find a place where you can lie down or at least recline, as this facilitates relaxation.

- It is also important to quiet the mind, avoiding intrusive thoughts but not fighting the thoughts that do occur to you. The trick is not to focus on whatever comes into the mind, but allow it to come and then let it go. This is the mind`s way of refreshing itself. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths to help you relax.

- Be sure to set an alarm so you nap for no more than thirty minutes. Any more than this and you could slip into a deep sleep that will leave you feeling groggy rather than refreshed. After the alarm goes off, spend another minute or two breathing deeply and doing some light stretching. At this point, full awareness should return and you should be ready to jump back into your day feeling better than ever.

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About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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