I’m a good napper. You might even say a great napper. My cottage naps are the stuff of legend. I can put myself to sleep very easily and wake up on cue by thinking about the time I need my internal “alarm” to go off before passing out. A 15 minute nap before a long drive is probably my most “beneficial” use of this talent. I can really power through long drives this way and have done 5 hours after an 8 hour surf day with salt still stinging my eyes..
Men’s Journal has a good piece about the benefits of the nap and some tips on becoming an expert napper yourself.
“Here’s how the power nap works: Sleep comes in five stages that recur cyclically throughout a typical night, and a power nap seeks to include just the first two of them. The initial stage features the sinking into sleep as electrical brain activity, eye and jaw-muscle movement, and respiration slow. The second is a light but restful sleep in which the body gets ready — lowering temperature, relaxing muscles further — for the entry into the deep and dreamless “slow-wave sleep,” or SWS, that occurs in stages three and four. Stage five, of course, is REM, when the eyes twitch and dreaming becomes intense.”