Remember every time as a kid your parents tried to get you to sleep early but you were too in a hurry to grow up and stay up late? I bet you reminisce on that now that you have to minimize your sleeping hours to fit in your hectic schedule between work, friends and all the series you binge-watch!
If you’re not constantly contemplating what it would be like to live the panda life – eat, sleep and repeat all day – then you should consider rethinking your priorities. For most of you who would like to sleep all day but life’s responsibilities get in the way, let napping be your daily ritual and your best friend.
There’s a fine line between the right nap that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go on with the day, and the too long of a nap that will feel like being run over by a truck. Here’s how to master the art of napping, the right way:
A sleep-encouraging environment
If you’re not one of the blessed who can sleep anywhere at any time, then make sure you take the necessary measures to foretell your body and mind that you are going to sleep.
If you’re at home, just get into a quiet room where you can snuggle under the blanket so that it’s dark and warm. If you’re in an office, try to find an empty room where you can dim the lights. It’s even encouraged to sleep while sitting up so that you don’t get too comfortable and oversleep. In case you’re having difficulty falling asleep instantly, try closing your eyes, breathing deeply and zoning into nothingness. Even if you don’t actually fall asleep, you’ll feel relaxed and a bit refreshed after 10 minutes or so.
Not a minute too long!
Ideally, the optimum time for a nap would be 10 minutes and could increase up to 30 minutes of sleep. That’s how long it takes for you to feel as lively as ever after waking up. If you get too carried away with the temptation of sleeping for more than 30 minutes, that’s when you’ll wake up groggy and you’ll hate the world for the rest of the day.
The exception to this rule would go to those who find it quite difficult to sleep well at night. If you’re sleep-deprived and struggle to go on with the day without dozing off, you can extend your nap to last exactly 90 minutes – a full REM cycle. The feeling of grogginess may persist, but it’ll provide your brain with the rest it requires to function well again.
The golden hours of the day
If you’re an early bird (or you’re forced to be one for professional reasons), then your energy might start draining by noon; that’s why the ideal time for a nap is between 12 – 4 PM. Try to avoid napping after that because it’s most likely not going to make it easy for you to sleep at night, and you’ll fall back into the vicious cycle of being sleep-deprived.
Caffeinate and get sleepin’!
Weird, right? But guess what, indulge in that hot cup of coffee of yours before going for a nap. Since the effect of caffeine takes around 20 minutes to kick-in, you’ll be provided with the right enough time to nap before it wakes you up, fresh and alert. So tell off all those who make you feel guilty about your love for coffee and make it your nap’s best pal.