Dr. Breus is a leading expert on sleep, a big fan of naps, and he's NAPJITSU’s Chief Nap Officer. In honor of National Nap Day — and the lost hour we're all mourning in the wake of Daylight Saving Time — here are Dr. Breus's top reasons you should develop a napping habit.
People need to realize you don't have to sleep in order to get the benefits of NAP or a normal nap. A lot of people will say, I can't sleep in the middle of the day. But there’s non-sleep, deep rest, which means you’re lying in a dark room, quiet with the earplugs in and relaxing — and that is rejuvenating. It's not exactly like sleep, but if you do an hour of that, it's probably worth about 20 minutes of sleep. It saves your energy and helps awaken new energy.
2. While many of us are working from home, we’re in great position to sneak off for a rejuvenating nap
Because people are still at home, they have the opportunity to nap, whereas at work, they might not have a safe place or even a space to nap. They’ve got plenty of opportunities to take advantage of napping and NAPJITSU in this home-based work environment.
And if you work in your bedroom in a small NYC space, you can still carve out space — create a space inside your head. Eye mask, earplugs, music — create a moment of quiet for yourself.
3. Naps can help make up for lost sleep
If people normally get a certain amount of sleep and for whatever reason — dogs barking, kids, a storm, a deadline, a flight, Daylight Saving Time — then I'm a big fan of napping as a form of supplemental sleep. As for the timing of that nap, some of the data would suggest that you would want to nap approximately seven hours after you wake up. Dr. Sarah Mednick has done some very interesting research on napping in that particular area.
4. The caffeine nap is the nap technique you’ve been missing
Some people write off naps because they’ve had a bad experience — maybe they slept too long once, or their alarm didn’t go off, and it ruined naps for them. But a caffeine nap can be a wonderful way to ensure you get the rest and wake up in ~30 minutes.
The science is this: When a cell eats a piece of glucose, something comes out the back end — one of those things is the hormone adenosine. And it works its way through your system and goes to a very specific receptor site area in your brain, where it accumulates. As it accumulates, you get sleepier and sleepier and sleepier. Now, the molecular structure of adenosine and the molecular structure of caffeine are off by only one molecule, which means the receptor site for adenosine can be open to other receptors, like caffeine. So with a caffeine nap, as you close your eyes and start to nap, your brain burns through the adenosine that's there. Meanwhile, the caffeine is waiting in the wings and it clicks into open receptors perfectly. So you wake up and you're good for a few hours, guaranteed.
5. NAPJITSU can help you nap better
With NAPJITSU NAP, in addition to caffeine, we have a specific set of nootropics. Sleep is important from a napping perspective because it helps reduce adenosine. Caffeine is important from the napping perspective because it gives you energy. And then all of the nootropics are giving you focus — and that’s the difference. You get three separate things from NAP — you get your sleep, you get your energy, and you get your focus.
6. Napping is good for your gut
The microbiome is tied to sleep — and there is an inflammation response for sleep deprivation, so the more sleep-deprived a person is, the greater their inflammation is likely to be. It can be a vicious cycle. And when you’re inflamed, there’s a lot of fatigue in your system — it just doesn't function particularly well. It slows melatonin production, it throws off circadian rhythmicity, and it can lead to upset stomach and other GI issues.