Healthy Sleep Habits: How To Take The Perfect Nap
HOW TO TAKE THE PERFECT NAP GET THE MOST REFRESHING DAYTIME SHUT-EYE WITH THESE SIMPLE TIPS.
Napping is one of the most underrated things you can do for your health. A quick snooze is a perfect way to recharge your batteries, helping you feel refreshed, more alert, and less stressed.
But what’s the best way to take an effective nap? Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to napping, we’ve put together some guidelines to help you nap like a pro.
THE PERFECT TIME TO TAKE A NAP
Most sleep experts agree that taking an early afternoon nap between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. is ideal. That’s usually when your energy naturally dips, making it easier to fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly.
However, waiting too late in the afternoon could disrupt your nighttime sleep cycle, so plan your power naps for the afternoon.
IDEAL LENGTH OF A NAP
If you wake up groggy from a nap, you may be sleeping too long. Falling asleep for about 20-40 minutes allows your body to rest without going into REM (rapid eye movement) or deep sleep. If you wake up feeling refreshed after a long nap, congratulations — it was the perfect amount of time! But if not, try shortening it next time around.
CAFFEINE + NAPPING
Have you heard of a caffeine nap? If you’re feeling especially tired and want to wake up refreshed, try drinking coffee or another caffeinated beverage right before a power nap. Since the effects of caffeine typically take 20 minutes to kick in, your body benefits from a quick, restful nap plus the stimulating sensation of caffeine helps kick-start your focus and energy levels once you wake up.
The right mindset is essential for taking an effective, refreshing nap. If you can quiet your mind and clear nagging worries away, it will be easier for your body to relax and do its thing.
Try taking a few deep breaths and think about how you want to feel — refreshed, yet energized — and create those feelings as much as possible as you’re drifting off.
INVEST IN BEDDING YOU LOVE
Whatever makes you feel cozy and supported will make napping a breeze. Invest in quality bedding, sheets, and pillows that you love.
Your mattress should be firm enough to support your body but soft enough to let your muscles completely relax. Choosing the right pillow for your preferred sleep position can make all the difference in how it supports your neck and back. Having sheets that feel cool and soft against your skin creates the perfect napping oasis.
Never underestimate the benefits of taking a well-deserved, revitalizing nap! Whether it’s to refresh your body, boost your creativity, or improve your state of mind, an afternoon snooze can hit the spot.