Napping is love. Aren’t you on the same boat as us? C’mon, we know you are. And why not, after all, it takes just one nap to have your mind refreshed, body energized and to give an active second start to your day. Did you know that it has some health benefits too? According to some researchers, it can cure colds and even improve your cardiovascular health!
However, are you doing it the right way? If you find yourself unsatisfied or craving for more after a nap, you’re probably not doing justice to the napping satisfaction. Want to know what’s lacking? Read on to find out!
Choose A Good Time
When it comes to napping, the time you choose for it will either make it or break it. Choose a napping time that matches your daily schedule and try to nap at the same time everyday because the consistency with daytime naps are as important as the night-time sleep schedule. The best napping time for most people is after 6-8 hours of waking up in the morning, that’s the time when the brain gets tired and needs to freshen up. Choosing a time between late afternoon or early evening will be the best option, as napping in that time won’t interfere with your sleeping schedule for the night. Sara Mednick, the author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life! and a leading voice in nap research writes, “prime napping time falls between 1 and 3 p.m.,” for most people.
Set The Timer Right
The time probably matters much more than you think! What happens to most people is that they tend to shorten the time and get less sleep than required, which does no good. However, the opposite may happen too. If you sleep for long, you’ll eventually fall into the deeper stages of sleep and trying to wake up in the midst of that need real efforts. Even if you do manage to wake-up with all your determination, it will make you uncomfortable and groggy instead of fulfilling the purpose of energizing. This happens due to the brain thinking that you’re down for the night’s long sleep and is known as sleep inertia.
So what’s the perfect time? It’s about 20-25 minutes as suggested by most researchers and physicians. The first 20-25 minutes of your sleep is the sleeping stage that provides energy and alertness. Sounds like too less? Don’t worry, that’s probably because of your habit of sleeping longer. 20-25 minutes will be the perfect nap unless you’re sleep deprived or have problems with the duration or quality of your sleep.
Tip: You can also use a sleep tracker to wake you up at your lightest sleep stage!
Stress Should Be A Strict No!
We know, it can be tough. In the daily chores, stress follows us like a best friend. However, if you’re short of time but need a crisp nap, try to fend off the stress. One way to do that is by listening to calm and soothing music. If that’s not an option, you can also try to think of something positive and happy. Doesn’t really sound good enough for you? Yoga at your rescue! Try meditations like the Yoga Nidra to relieve stress and get a tension-free sleep.
Even if you have everything else perfect, the environment isn’t something you can be careless about! Choose a quiet place with a comfortable bed or sofa where you can lie down. If none is available, which is usually the case in offices (yes, we feel you), get as horizontal as you can. However, even that may not be your cup of tea always, especially while traveling. But, do not worry! For that perfect nap even while traveling, try using neck pillows! There are varieties of neck pillows available in the market, choose the one suiting your needs and you’re good to go! Also, remember to steer clear of the lights, be it artificial or natural. Light has been proven to be a disturbance to sleep, you wouldn’t want to keep something like that when you need a perfect nap. Turn off the room lights, draw the blinds, keep away your phone(compulsory, because you know why!) and take the perfect nap. If these aren’t enough and you still feel lights when you close your eyes, try using an eye mask. Not only do they block the light, some will also soothe your eyes in the process!