Sitting through that Zoom meeting for work, helping your kids with their homework, tackling that workout you planned: everyday tasks like these can feel impossible when you’re short on sleep. The good news, you don’t have to cut your losses. Reclaim your day with a power nap. Naps aren’t just for toddlers or college students. Adults need naps too, and resting is a lot healthier than filling up on caffeine.
Sleep deprivation can make you irritable and on edge, but a nap can shift your mood, brighten your outlook, and relax your mind. It’s more than just a change in attitude. Napping also boosts your memory, alertness, and motor performance. After napping, you’ll feel more confident and capable to tackle what comes your way. Think of it like charging your brain.
If you nap the right way, your day is bound to get better. But be careful, common mistakes can bring the opposite effect. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get the most out of your nap.
- Seek a cool, quiet, dark environment to fall asleep quicker. This works at night too. You can prevent disruptions by setting your phone on airplane mode. If you need to take a snooze at the office, try noise-canceling headphones or download a white noise app.
- Stick to a mid-afternoon window to avoid restlessness at bedtime. Try to set aside time between 1pm and 3pm. Remember, a nap doesn’t replace a good night’s sleep. It’s also easier for most people to doze off at this time of day because energy levels drop a little after lunch.
- Set a timer to prevent post-nap grogginess. Disorientation and tiredness are more likely to occur when you interrupt deep sleep. The ideal power nap length is between 10 and 20 minutes before the deep sleep stage begins. If you need a longer nap, a 90-minute one is best since it spans an entire sleep cycle.
If naps still aren’t working for you, that’s okay. They aren’t suited for everyone. Instead, try to overcome your sleepiness by making changes to your bedtime routine or introducing new techniques to your daily regimen such as lunchtime meditation. It’s a great way to relax and reset during the day. Above all, be sure to practice self-care and listen to your body.