Napping has been around for thousands of years — literally! The Ancient Greeks would routinely nap during the day, while the Ancient Arabians would even use naps as part of their religious practices. And it turns out they were on to something — napping offers several health benefits!
You can improve your relaxation, reduce fatigue, increase your awareness, elevate your moods, perform better, increase your reaction times, have better memory recall, and boost you immune system. No doubt you’ve tried napping at some point before, but stopped trying because you didn’t feel rested — don’t give up just yet;. You just need to learn how to nap effectively!
To Nap or Not to Nap
Before we go into how to nap more effectively, first consider when you should take a nap. For instance:
- If you feel more fatigued than usual or didn’t get much sleep the night before.
- You’ve been up for several hours longer than you wanted or needed to.
- Recently changed your work schedule and are having trouble adjusting.
- Want to improve your overall health and make napping part of your daily routine.
If any of these conditions sound like you, then you’ll greatly benefit from taking a quick snooze. But if you’re consistently sleep deprived or suffer chronic insomnia, you should contact your physician.
The Effective Napper
Once you’re good to go to start napping, there are a few guidelines you should take. While anyone can lie down for a few minutes, you might not get the benefits you’re hoping for from napping. So instead, try:
- Setting your naps between 1 and 3pm, which is the natural “slump time” for humans and doesn’t affect your regular sleep.
- Creating a relaxing environment that is preferably dark, cool, and quiet as possible. Use eye masks or a white noise machine to get in the mood.
- Making the couch or cozy chair your napping space so that you lower the risk of falling into a deep sleep.
- Setting an alarm to keep your nap short, between 10 to 20 minutes. Try an alarm tone that starts off gentle and then slowly rises, so you don’t startle yourself awake.
Too Long vs. Too Little
When it comes to napping, the duration of your nap is essential. Napping between 10 and 20 minutes is often enough to clear out the cobwebs. But every person is different, so you might benefit more from a shorter nap or an even longer one.
- 5 to 10 Minutes: Provide short mind breaks that let you unplug from work or school and give your mind a quick refresh that lowers your stress.
- 20 Minutes: Lets you nap in a light doze, which resents your mind and gives you an energy boost minus the grogginess.
- 30 to 35 Minutes: Helps you enter deeper sleep, leaving you feeling more rested. However, you might have to deal with some initial sleep inertia.
- 60 to 75 Minutes: Gives you enough time to enter REM sleep and wake up in the middle of a dream. This will improve your creativity and motivation for the day.
- 90 Minutes: Encompasses an entire sleep cycle, which provides deep, restorative rest. And you’ll be waking up at the
Which is Right for You
Did you know that there are different types of naps? You might hear people say they took a cat nap, but there are several types of naps you can choose from. The classic power nap that’s between 20 and 25 minutes is also known as the CEO nap, because it helps with your performance. But there are also others, including:
- Nap-A-Latte: Also known as the Coffee Nap, you quickly drink a cup of coffee, then lie down to nap for 20 minutes; by the time you wake up the stimulants in the coffee will finally be working for you.
- Sports Nap: Nap 15 to 20 minutes before a sporting endeavor, or if you have hours to go, you can sleep a little longer.
- Siesta: Follow the trends of Spain, Mexico, and Greece by taking a nap around lunchtime so you can recharge and actually enjoy your evening. No more couch potato!
- Shift Work: For shift workers who always have funky schedules, make sure to take two 90-minute naps throughout the day leading up to your next shift. Or take shorter naps on your breaks and combine them with your regular 4 to 5 sleep hours after work.
Invest in Your Sleep
Napping is a great way to restore your mood and help you feel more rested. But all the napping in the world won’t help you if you can’t sleep because of your old and lumpy mattress. But don’t worry; Crane's Mattress has the mattresses you need to dream away!