When it’s time for a child to take a nap, it’s not uncommon for complaints and protests to ensue. While there are some children who are perfectly okay with naps, many others tend to lament and insist that they can’t wait until they are adults who don’t have to take naps. Meanwhile, many adults can’t wait for naptime. Naptime is an opportunity to recharge and catch up on some desperately needed rest. However, if it’s not executed correctly, naps can actually make you sleepier. If you didn’t already realize this, there is a way to efficiently nap.
Long Naps Can Actually Make You Sleepier
There’s research pointing to the ineffectiveness of a long nap. If you take naps that are longer than 45 minutes, it’s easier to put yourself into a deeper sleep. Then, when you wake up, you’ll experience the negative impact of sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is when you’re in an impaired state when you first wake up. Upon waking up, a person is typically groggy, disoriented and drowsy. When you’re first waking up in the morning, it’s okay to experience this. After all, you’ve been asleep for hours. However, if you experience sleep inertia after a daytime nap, it’s much harder to focus, remain alert and reorient yourself back into your work. In fact, you’ll probably feel much sleepier than you did before you first took a nap.
Focus on Power Naps
It’s best to focus on power naps because they’ll allow you to relax and rest for a very specific and short amount of time. By utilizing the power nap, it’s harder for you to get into a deep rest that will cause you to experience sleep inertia when you wake up. This is a good thing. Instead, when you focus on a power nap, you’ll be able to close your eyes for a few minutes, relax and recharge. During the day, that should be your main goal. Power naps are typically 20 to 25 minutes. If you go more than 45 minutes, you’re headed towards the danger zone. Instead, set a timer. Make sure that you are able to maximize your nap by closing the blinds, darkening the room and shutting off any stimulation for that focused time.
Try Introducing Caffeine into the Mix
There are many people who love caffeine, and they use it throughout the day to remain alert. However, it’s a wise idea to utilize caffeine when you’re trying to take a power nap. Drink it before you go down to take your rest. As you rest for 20 to 25 minutes, the caffeine will have time to get into your bloodstream and impact your brain’s ability to remain alert. When you wake up, you’ll feel even more refreshed and recharged to perform to the best of your ability. For most people, a nap is needed in the afternoon. However, you want to monitor the amount of caffeine you are consuming before you take your power nap. You don’t want the caffeine to keep you from sleeping deeply when it’s time to go to bed at night. Instead, try not to drink more than six to eight ounces before you take your nap.
Nap at the Right Times
For the most effective experience, try your best to nap between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 pm. If you extend the nap later than 2 p.m., you run the risk of impacting your ability to sleep deeply that night. When it’s time to go to bed, you’ll end up being wide awake for hours. This can lead to a terrible cycle of sleeplessness, insomnia and more. Instead, try your best to get your power nap between the early hours of the afternoon. This will help you to recharge without negatively impacting your sleep at night.
Benefits of Napping
When you’re able to take advantage of an afternoon nap, this can impact your ability to think clearly and use logic. If you’ve been suffering from fatigue for a while, a nap can be a great tool to keep in your arsenal in order to fight it. If you struggle with feeling alert and present, it’s a wise idea to include a routine nap in your daily schedule. This might not be a necessity forever. However, for the time being, it can be an excellent way to help you support your brain’s ability to thrive.
If you’ve been struggling with getting quality rest at night, a long nap might not fix that. In fact, it can throw off your circadian rhythm even more. Utilize these tips, and track your progress. In a small notebook, write down various details like the time you went down for a nap, what you consumed before your nap and how you felt afterward. Treat yourself like a science experiment. As you find results that work, stick with them. This will give you a fool-proof plan to be successful with your naptime efforts. By using these tips in an effective way, you can shift your ability to get quality rest, take naps and support your body fully.