If you're anything like me, naps are an essential part of your daily routine. In fact, napping is one of my favorite hobbies because it keeps me relaxed, focused, and more energized throughout the day. But, as I am sure we all know, naps can sometimes make you feel even more sleepy than you did before your head hit the pillow.
That’s why it is extremely important to know the 3 keys to smart napping.
First, keep naps short.
You should only nap for 10 to 40 minutes. Napping for too long can actually have the opposite effect and increase drowsiness. Not good. However, if you’re exhausted – not just a little bit sleepy – a longer nap between 45 minutes to 2 hours might be the ticket.
Secondly, afternoon naps are the best naps.
You know how everyone talks about that 2 o’clock feeling? It’s actually a thing. You're full from lunch and have a lower level of alertness, but it’s nothing a short nap can’t fix. Even a super short one will do the trick (just 10 minutes at your desk - try it and see). If you can sneak away from the office for a bit, taking a nap around 2 or 3 p.m. is prime time. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready for the rest of your day.
And lastly – environment is key.
As much as it's possible, it's important to create a restful environment for the ideal nap experience. Where you chose to nap should be dark with limited distractions – so invest in some good curtains and shut the door. Note: the temperature is another important factor – nobody wants to nap while sweating or shivering, so set the thermostat for somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees and grab your favorite blanket.
These 3 elements may not seem super important on their own, but together they’re a recipe for the perfect nap. My recommendation? Reevaluate your schedule and see where you could fit one in – even if it’s just on the weekends. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Here’s to catching a few more Z’s.