By Mike Atkinson | Drive producer and digital content creator
Nope, this is not fake news. A major gym chain in the UK has introduced a workout program that involves napping for 45 minutes in a bed.
The 40 winks workout — pioneered by David Lloyd Clubs — involves members congregating in a room, picking a comfy bed and catching some zzzz’s in a quest to battle what the gym has called a ‘tiredness epidemic’.
Skeptics would say that the workout comes straight from the same book as ‘how to sell ice to eskimos’ but David Lloyd claim participants will even burn some calories as the studio temperature will also be dropped to a level that promotes calorie burning during sleep.
The gym company carried out a poll of 1000 parents which found that 86 per cent of them suffer from fatigue, with 26 percent regularly getting less than five hours sleep per night.
The study found that almost one in five tired parents admit to sleeping at work and five percent have forgotten to pick up their child from school due to tiredness.
The positives of napping
Whilst this program might seem like a headline-grabbing publicity stunt, there’s no doubt that the benefits of napping can boost your alertness and energy.
The Sleep Foundation classifies naps in three different ways:
Planned napping (also called preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. You may use this technique when you know that you will be up later than your normal bed time or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier.
Emergency napping occurs when you are suddenly very tired and cannot continue with the activity you were originally engaged in. This type of nap can be used to combat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.
Habitual napping is practiced when a person takes a nap at the same time each day. Young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.
Tips to get to sleep at night
Napping is a great way for a quick afternoon boost but clocking up 7+ hours sleep at night will decrease the need to nod off on the couch. Jason Van Schie, A Sleep Expert from People Diagnostix has these tips if you are struggling to hit the hay.
Stick to a routine
Try to go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at the same time every morning.
Pay Attention to Foods and Drinks
Avoid caffeine and alcohol and don’t eat a big meal at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Wind down and relax before bedtime
Have a buffer zone before bedtime to sort out any problems, review the day’s activities and work out a plan of action for the next day. Avoid using electronic devices within one hour of bedtime.
Lower the lights
Your body clock is affected by light, so turn off bright overhead lights, lamps, and LCD screens at least an hour before bed.
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable
Keep your bedroom quiet and dark with comfortable bedding and good temperature control.
Don’t lie awake watching the clock
Staring at the clock when you can’t sleep actually increases the stress hormone known as cortisol in your body, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Try turning your clock away from you.