My nap made me more tired!

January 26, 2011 in Blogging by pacejmiller

Source: ImageShack

I am an avid fan of the afternoon power nap, even though I have not had one for ages because of work and when I haven’t been working, because time is too valuable to waste.  Besides, I tend to get enough sleep at night anyway (around 8 hours) so I don’t usually feel tired in the afternoon.

Yesterday I had my first afternoon nap in years while watching the Australian Open — a match between a Danish woman and an Italian guy — and fell asleep as the match reached the end of the first set.  I woke up midway through the third set, probably about an hour later, expecting to feel refreshed and energised for the night ahead.  But no, I was groggy and exhausted!

It literally took me a few minutes of staring passionlessly into nothingness before I managed to compose myself as I had to drive out.  I felt a little better after dinner but when I got back home I was ready to collapse into bed.  And I did.

So how is it that my afternoon nap had the opposite effect of what I expected?  How could more sleep make me more tired?

Anyway, I did some quick research, and as it turns out, I didn’t really have a ‘nap’.  I had a ‘sleep’.  According to this article, there are seveal stages of sleep — stage 1 is just drifting off, stage 2 is brain activity slowing, and stages 3 and 4 run into deep sleep.  An afternoon nap ought not to take more than 30 minutes, or else you risk falling into stages 3 and 4, which is what must have happened to me.

Looks like the next time I would like to take a nap I should set an alarm.

Talk about a post about nothing.