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Dos and Don'ts of Napping

Buzzle Staff Oct 28, 2018
Power naps rightly deserve a special day to celebrate their awesomeness! National Nap Day is actually a chance to adjust after the changes to daylight savings. It's a day to get some extra shut-eye and make up for the hour lost due to the spring forward time change.

Great Minds Think Alike!

Many famous personalities in history have known the restorative and rejuvenating properties of naps. Napoleon napped while sitting on his horse between battles, whereas Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci used to take multiple naps throughout the day.
Most kids hate 'nap' time as it interferes with their 'play' time. But as we grow into teenagers and adults, we start understanding the true value of sleep. Late night projects, early morning conferences, and hundreds of different 'grown-up' responsibilities creep in and leave us sleepless, tired, and cranky.
What rescues us from this entire shebang is a precious nap. We can even go on to say that, 'a nap a day keeps the doctor away'!

Benefits of Napping

┣ Increases Alertness ┫
┣ Reduces Fatigue ┫
┣ Ameliorates Performance ┫
┣ Improves Mood ┫
┣ Relaxes Mind and Body ┫
"Did you have a nice nap?' he asked. 'Yes, Sir. Naps are tricky. There's a little window of how long you can sleep that will leave you feeling awake and refreshed...
...But if you miss it and you nap less or more than that amount, you feel like crap the rest of the day. And then you will have insomnia, probably.' 'You're a real risk-taker," he said."
- Joshua Edward Smith, Duality
As Joshua Smith rightly said, naps can be tricky. After all, napping is an art that needs to be mastered. Just keep in mind certain dos and don'ts, and simply snooze away to glory!

Napping Dos

Power naps are supposed to be short and effective. If you sleep for more than 30 minutes, the body will enter the deep sleep phase. Waking up from deep sleep is harder, and will make you groggy when you wake up. It will also interfere will your night sleep, and may lead to insomnia.
Midday is the best time to catch 40 winks. After lunch, our energy levels start dropping and drowsiness sets in. The body naturally is ready to fall asleep. Nap for 20 - 30 minutes anytime between 2 - 4 pm for optimum results.
Having a healthy lunch before napping is a good idea. This strikes off the possibility of waking up because of hunger. Also, post-lunch drowsiness will make napping easier. Don't consume too much sugar though, as it will keep you awake.

Napping Don'ts

Napping in the evening is a really bad idea. Our brain associates darkness with sleep. Hence, it will assume that it's sleeping time. You might then wake up at odd hours during the night and won't be able to go back to sleep. Nap before 4 pm to reap optimum benefits.
The nap duration is very important. Power naps are supposed to be short and powerful. Set an alarm for 30 minutes so that you don't oversleep. You can relax or meditate for ten minutes after napping, before getting back to work.
Though alcohol induces sleep, don't drink before napping. It will make you sleepy but will keep the brain awake. Your nap time may also extend drastically under the influence of alcohol. Instead of getting up refreshed, you'll end up being cranky and dazed.

Tips to Nap Better

■ Want to have an extra powerful nap? Drink coffee before napping! Caffeine takes around 15 - 20 minutes to give you an energy boost, so it won't disturb your nap. As you wake up already refreshed, caffeine will make you more alert.
■ Napping at work can be a problem, thanks to phone calls, clients, or colleagues. The best way to handle this situation would be to inform your boss and colleagues about your nap ritual. This will ensure that no one disturbs you.
■ Sleep environment is very important. Find a cozy and preferably dark place to unwind for 20 minutes. Set an alarm beforehand, or else, your power nap will turn into an elaborate afternoon siesta.
■ Don't forget to turn off your phone while taking a nap. You can listen to some relaxation audio to put your mind at ease.