It's been said that a good powernap can help improve the way your mind works during those... slow ... afternoons ... after ... lunch.
Well here's some great advice on how you can start napping for productivity (minus the guilt!)
Here’s why napping is good … and 7 tips so even YOU can be a good "napper."
It’s a favorite past time of babies and teenagers, and even some of our elderly friends. It reduces stress, improves memory, makes you more alert, and helps you keep your brain at max performance over the long haul, among many other things.
So why do so many people resist napping or feel guilty for taking one?
Sleep is one of the most critical elements of maintaining a low stress, productive, and high quality life. Here’s how to work a nap into your daily schedule to give you a nice BOOST for the latter portion of the day.
1. Make your napping environment YOURS. People sleep much better when they are in familiar surroundings. For example, if you have a couch in your office, put a nice covering from home over it. This will make it easier to associate your couch (or "napping space") with the comforts and relaxing nature of your home. Going out to your car to nap would be another possible method.
2. Choose a proper time to nap. Early afternoon is probably your best bet as most people start feeling sluggish around this time. An added benefit is it is still early enough to not affect your night sleeping. We recommend actually planning it into your schedule.
3. Keep it short. Nap for too long and you will never recover. Keep it to around 25 minutes or less; long enough to recharge your brain and give you a break, but short enough to avoid grogginess.
4. Try The Coffee Bomb. If you are really struggling some day and need a major boost, you might try this: Right before napping, drink a cup of coffee. The 20 - 30 minute nap will give the caffeine time to start kicking in, meaning you’ll be Ready To Rock when you wake up. Many people believe coffee and naps don’t mix, but you might find it works quite well. Of course, developing a reliance on caffeine is against our mantra, but in a pinch this could help you out.
5. Feel good about it! How many times have you thought to yourself, "Ugh, if I could just take a short nap right now…" So give yourself that pleasure and enjoy it. We all hate those sluggish afternoons we occasionally experience, so let’s kick that from our mind! Your increased awareness and energy levels will be envied by everyone around you.
6. Free your mind. Face it, if you can’t calm your thoughts and give yourself a few work/stress-free minutes, you’ll never enjoy your nap time. This might take a bit of practice, but get in the habit of releasing your thoughts and your daily nap will become a daily moment of grace.
7. Get a good night’s sleep. One of the most critical principles of napping properly is having a solid night’s sleep beforehand. Don’t rely on your nap to make up for your late nights. Sleeping well and for an adequate length is necessary to fully recharge your body - a nap will never do this.
Napping is something many of us often yearn for, and deserve. Work it into your schedule, help yourself feel comfortable and relaxed, and you will enjoy refreshed afternoons and a higher quality life.