Mid-day naps can improve cognitive performance, speed reflexes and improve heart health. Unfortunately, only one in three people considers themselves a napper. We love napping at Power 20 and the Power 20 Method asks you to get adequate sleep, so here are some pro tips on how to nap.
Nap for 20 minutes. Nap for much longer, and you’ll go into deep sleep. Waking from deep sleep is usually accompanied by sleep inertia (grogginess).
Nap 8 hours after waking up. Our circadian rhythms cause our body temperatures to dip mid-day, which is associated with more sleepiness. That’s also the best time to take a quick nap.
Don’t fixate on sleep. The act of lying down, closing your eyes, and quieting your mind is rejuvenating even if you don’t fall asleep. If you nap at the same time each day, you’ll eventually find yourself falling asleep.
Nap sitting up or lying down. While you will be more comfortable and may fall asleep faster lying down, it’s not necessary. We can train ourselves to fall asleep even sitting upright. While the ideal napping environment is using a MetroNaps EnergyPod, you can find ways to rest without it.
Slow your thoughts by slowing your breath. Inhale for 8 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds (try 4 or 6 seconds if 8 is too long for you). Take 10 of these slow breaths at the beginning of your nap.
Practice makes perfect. Like anything in life, you can improve with practice. There is no such thing as a person who cannot nap. To become a great napper, it just takes some time (and in this case, we’re talking days or weeks) to sharpen this invaluable life skill.
Call it meditating. Strangely, meditating is more accepted than napping in most workplaces. If you tell people you are going to take a 20-minute meditation break, they will usually be more accepting than if you tell them you’re going to nap.