The perks of power napping

woman napping
A quick 30 minutes of shut-eye has more health benefits than you think. Photo credit: Getty.

We all have days where we feel so tired we just can't resist having a nap.

But there's no need to feel ashamed about it - power napping, when done at the right time of day and for the right duration, can have plenty of health benefits besides leaving you feeling revitalised.

"It can lead to cognitive and behavioural improvements, as well as fighting fatigue. Napping is particularly beneficial when you need to perform tasks that involve addition, reaction time and symbol recognition," says Aiden Finley, owner of Enso Matcha.

"They can restore alertness, enhance performance and reduce mistakes and accidents.

"Naps also have psychological benefits, too. It can be a mental mini-vacation, an easy way to relax and rejuvenate during the day, as well as improve memory.

"When it comes to heart health, napping can help. Naps have been linked to lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart attacks and may also be able to help stave off heart disease."

Of course, there are also some downsides to napping, if not done correctly. They can leave you with sleep inertia - that feeling of grogginess when you wake up - if you accidentally sleep for longer and end up in REM sleep. Aiden recommends napping for no longer than 20 minutes or setting your alarm for 30 minutes to allow yourself time to drift off.

Also, if you nap too late in the day, it will impact your nighttime sleep. The most recommended napping window is between 2pm and 3pm.

Aiden also suggests boosting the benefits of your power nap by drinking matcha - stone-ground, whole green tea leaves - beforehand. Because the caffeine in matcha is absorbed by your body in about 20 minutes, you'll wake up feeling even more energised and refreshed, while its slow-release energy will give you improved focus for the rest of the day.

"Most of us experience that mid-day slump in energy, and power napping could be your best way to fight it. And if you really want to wake from your nap feeling incredible, a quick hit of matcha before your nap makes a huge difference! You'll wake up feeling energised, relaxed, and ready to seize the rest of your day," says Aiden.