If you know me, you know that I am the NAP KWEEN. Naps are a huge part of my life (seriously), and some days I will organize my schedule around a nap. Even when I was working a 9-5 job, I would still nap. In my car. #noshame
But, I don’t just nap because I’m a lazy a-hole or because I don’t sleep at night (trust me, I do). For me, napping comes with tons of benefits. For one, it gives me the chance to kind of reset my day and break up each day into two parts. I can be super productive in the morning, take a nap, and then crush the afternoon. It’s almost like I get two mornings when I nap (I’m a morning person, so this works in my favor). Plus, napping gives my brain a break. I usually go hard (work-wise) all morning long, and if I don’t take a break, I’ll be brain dead by 3 pm. Napping is the perfect way to shut off your mind for a bit and start fresh again.
Midday siestas can also improve productivity and creativity as well as your mood. In my humble opinion, there is literally no downside to napping. With that being said, here are a few ways to make sure you get the most out of your nap time.
- Decide what you want out of your nap. This may sound crazy, but a nap can actually do one of many things for you. In addition to giving your brain and eyes a little break, it can also provide a quick pick-me-up or can even get your creative juices powered up and flowing again. For just a little boost of alertness, nap between 15-30 minutes. For a complete reset, nap for 90 minutes, as this takes you through an entire sleep cycle.
- Set the mood. Yep, what you do before a nap can affect how well you actually sleep during it. Avoid staring at your phone, working out, or anything that stimulates the brain too much. Try reading a short chapter in a book or meditating for five minutes before napping instead.
- Get yourself a sleep mask (or steal one on your next international flight). Since the sun is usually shining during our afternoon siesta, if you don’t have blackout shades or access to a dark room, you’re going to be napping in a lit area. The light can affect how well you nap. Try using a sleep mask if the light bothers you.
- Don’t force it. Sometimes, our bodies just don’t want to nap. And that’s totally fine! But if you are laying there for an hour without actually napping, you can get your body and brain into relax mode without reaping any of the nap-related benefits. This leaves you feeling groggy and more tired.
Are you a napper? If so, how often do you usually nap, and what are you tips napping like a pro? #teamnaps