Mid-afternoon naps are scientifically proven to be good for you.
In fact, a nap of 10 minutes can keep you alert for more than two hours when you’re sleep deprived. Napping also improves performance and creativity, but as it goes with almost everything – there’s an appropriate time and place.
Here’s how to optimize your strategy for the best naps ever:
Keep your naps relative to your sleep schedule. If you’re waking up at 5 AM you should nap around 1 PM and if you’re waking up at 9 AM you should nap at 3 PM.
We recommend napping in the afternoons. The dreaded mid-afternoon crash is a part of human nature – researchers have found humans tend to sleep once at night (for a long period) and once during the afternoon.
Plan ahead. If it’s 1 AM and you’re on Twitter, you’re going to need a 1-2 hour nap tomorrow to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation.
It’s about perfect timing. Studies show 10-20 minute naps are best – longer naps cause grogginess, sleep-inertia, and restlessness at night.
Setting an alarm will help. It’s hard to fall asleep when you’re worried about waking up on time – setting an alarm will be comforting.
You need a happy place. Find a quiet and dark place to rest – use earplugs and a sleep mask too.
Nappuccinos are really a thing. A cup of something caffeinated followed by a nap boosts energy more than doing either one on its own. Caffeine takes 20 minutes to digest, which means it’s effects will kick in as soon as your 20-minute nap is over.
You can also try other tricks such as calming yourself to sleep with meditation techniques like breathing and visualizations. But if you’re going to try any of these, have a Nappuccino… it’s like a nap on steroids.