There is a common misconception that if you manage to get a good night’s sleep, you don’t have to take a nap. Well, napping has been proven, time and time again, to have some health benefits depending on the length of your nap. You will find that taking a short nap in the afternoon can help with your performance at work, keep your mind sharp, and increase your creativity levels too. Keep in mind, however, that taking a nap isn’t that simple to do. Yes, it involves lying down and closing your eyes, but there is more to naps that these two. As a matter of fact, here are a few steps that you should take into consideration if you want to achieve the perfect nap time.
Determine the length of your nap time
Before you take a nap, you need to figure out how long it should be. It can be six minutes, 10 to 15 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes, 40 to 60 minutes, or even up to 120 minutes if you like. Each of these lengths has its own benefit. For example, a six minute nap has been shown to boost your memory, while a 10 to 15 minute nap time is believed to make you more focused and improve productivity levels too. It is said that taking a 20 to 30 minute nap time to be the optimal option as it makes you more alert, enhances your motor skills, and even hone your concentration too.
Time your nap between 1 to 3 in the afternoon
Ever felt lethargic from 1 in the afternoon till 3? Well, the human body follows the circadian rhythm where there are two periods of sleepiness setting in within 24 hours. The first one starts between 2 in the morning to 4 in the morning, and the other is 1 in the afternoon till 3. This means that it is a good idea to time your nap between 1 to 3 in the afternoon so that you will feel energized afterwards. Taking a nap at these hours won’t affect your sleeping habits at night.
Build up your environment
For those who are having trouble falling asleep in the afternoon, you can make your body go into sleep mode with the right conditions. Start by dimming the lights and reducing the noise in your area.
Set your alarm
Don’t forget to set your alarm. It is understandable that you’ll find it difficult to wake up on your own especially during nap time so set your alarm before drifting off to sleep.
Coffee nap sounds good
Have you ever tried having coffee before napping? Since caffeine will take about 20 to 30 minutes for it to hit, you will feel its effects just in time for waking up. The combination of coffee and nap has been proven to keep your energy levels stable throughout the rest of the day.
Fight post-nap blues
For those whose nap time falls in the 40 to 60 minutes, you’ll probably feel groggy when you wake up. The best way to fight this off is to either sleep for another 30 minutes to get the full sleep cycle, or have coffee and wash your face vigorously to wake you up.
Sleeping at night is important
Although naps are good for you, don’t swap it with a good night’s rest. Not getting enough sleep at night can put you at risk from diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues.
There is nothing wrong with getting some sleep in the afternoon especially when you have a long day ahead of you. It doesn’t matter whether you take a short nap or a longer one, the goal here is to give your body time to energize itself to fuel you for the rest of the day.