Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Product Review: Nap26

Photograph by Nicole Holt

Nap26 is a non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive and non-habit forming nap aid that is supposed to lull you to sleep before waking you up again 26 minutes later. In a NASA study, 26 minutes was found to be the perfect duration for refreshing the napper without making him or her groggy.

Nap26 works by presenting slightly different sound patterns, which sound like white noise, to each ear. This helps the brain relax so you can fall asleep, 26 minutes later you wake up to the sounds of birds chirping.
While the concept of this product is certainly appealing, I also find it a bit creepy. This is mostly due to having seen too many movies about brainwashing. After using this product, I am happy to report that I have had no desire to assasinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia. However, I did have an uncanny desire to watch Total Recall again.

I tried this device several times, in several different locations (plane, bus and couch), and it has yet to induce me into a restful sleep. What it has done is to draw my focus to the sounds and away from outside influences. In focusing on these sounds, I'm able to focus on mental tasks that are otherwise difficult on which to concentrate.

This period of clear thinking is quite refreshing despite the lack of actual sleep. While I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep, the total time that I was using the Nap26 did not feel like 26 minutes. It is kind of like when you wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock, then you close your eyes for what seems like a few minutes but open them to find that 45 minutes has passed.

I asked my father, an accomplished napper, to try this product. After his Nap26 cycle was complete, he reported that the sounds did help him regulate his breathing. He also noted that during the nap he saw several faces that sounded, based on his descriptions, as those belonging to wood spirits.

It's not completely surprising that both my father and I didn't instantly fall asleep with this product because, as I am fond of saying, everyone is a beautiful snowflake and everyone is a little different. The fact that this product works for many people is pretty impressive.

Nap26 comes in two different forms: a CD that contains an audio file and a stand alone MP3 player. I found that the file on the CD didn't work with my non-iTunes compatible MP3 player, but it worked fine playing via iTunes. The stand alone MP3 player works fine, but if you are already carrying an iPod then the CD makes the most sense.

I did find that the documentation that comes with this product was lacking. The stand alone player isn't completely intuitive, and the only way to find out how it works is either by trial and error or by checking the Nap26 website. A short sheet of instructions detailing the use of the MP3 device and how to get the most out of the device would have been extremely useful.

If you respond to this device like I did then this is a great product if you find yourself needing a bit of clear concentration time when traveling is getting the better of you. If it works for you as advertised, then this would be invaluable for helping you adjust to a new time zone or to give you an afternoon energy boost.

This product also comes in a version designed to help you fall asleep without waking you up. This is certainly worth a shot if you have problems falling asleep. All of the Nap26 products are available for purchase at

I've created a short companion video review which you can watch below:

The products reviewed in this article were generously provided by POWRNAPS.

If you've used this product before, please let me know what your experiences were.

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  1. While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

  2. I appreciate the labour you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.

  3. Ok comments are here, maybe my PC did not load the page completely. Very nice review! I don't think 26 minutes is good enough for me. I would turn evil and grumpy!