Listen up folks - naps are your new best friend. Many major companies are acknowledging that naps are an important way to help improve not only their employees work environment but the quality of their work, too. There’s a stigma that the only healthy adults who nap are lazy people, but that’s the opposite of true. In fact, naps can actually help you be more productive in your daily life.
Incorporating naps into your daily routine can help boost alertness, creativity, and your overall health, and making sure that you nap the right way increases these benefits. So, whether you’re a napping newbie or a seasoned pro, here are 5 tips for your best nap ever.
Have a comfortable spot where you can lie down to increase your chances of falling asleep. If you know too much light or noise could be an issue, bring an eye mask and earplugs to help cancel out those problems. Setting aside a specific time you’re going to nap is also a good idea, especially since what time you nap can affect how well you sleep later at night.
It’s All About Timing:
The best time to nap for most people is between 1pm and 3pm, but if you’re on a more unusual sleep schedule ― or you just want a more specific time window ― don’t worry. Psychologist Dr. Sara Mednick has created this convenient nap wheel to help you find the perfect nap time for you.
Don’t Sleep For Too Long:
Sometimes you wake up from a nap feeling more tired than you did when you decided to lie down in the first place. This is called “sleep inertia” and it happens when you wake up during the wrong portion of your natural sleep cycle. To avoid this, try to nap for 20-30 minutes. Or, if you’re craving a longer nap, try sleeping for a full sleep cycle of 90-120 minutes. Using an app to track your individual sleep cycle will help you know when it’s the right time for you to wake up.
Don’t let stress about not falling asleep, not waking up, or other worries ruin your nap. Even if you don’t fall asleep, laying down and allowing your body and mind to rest is beneficial. Setting an alarm before napping means you don’t have to worry about oversleeping or not waking up at the right time. Using lavender or other relaxing scents can help calm you and tell your body it’s time to sleep, and writing down a to-do list or meditating for a few minutes can help clear your mind. When you lie down for a nap, your only focus should be rest and rejuvenation.
Try a Caffeine Nap:
Yes, “caffeine naps” are a real thing. Taking a nap doesn’t mean you have to pass on an afternoon cup of coffee. In fact, using both together could have you feeling even more refreshed when you wake up. Since caffeine takes about 20-30 minutes to start working, drinking coffee right before laying down for a quick nap will have you feeling alert, energetic, and ready to face the rest of the day when you get up.