Everyone needs a nap now and again, but if you’re feeling sleepy and yout to-do list is pages and pages long, you definitely want to maximize any time available for a nap.
The best time to nap is mid-afternoon, between 2 and 3pm…at least three hours before you plan to go to sleep for the night.
The length of your nap affects the way you feel when you wake up. If you don’t time it right, you’ll feel even sleepier than you did before you dozed off.
So what are your napping options, and how do you make the most from how the body’s sleep cycles work?!
Here’s a quick list…
1. Alarm-Assisted, NASA-Approved Power Nap..lPower naps are basically any short nap that’s under 30 minutes, but this one is special because it’s the kind of nap astronauts and air traffic controllers use. A NASA study from 1995 concluded that the ideal nap time is actually 26 minutes. Those 26 minutes will leave you feeling 54 percent more alert and can improve performance by 34 percent.
2. Emergency Napping..lfeeling suddenly tired and needing to sleep before you can continue doing what you’re doing
3. Energizing Coffee Nap…Science has actually shown that you can get more out of your naps by drinking coffee before you snooze. Since it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine’s effects to peak, if you can plan it so that you wake up from your nap at that 30 minute mark, you’ll feel your most alert.The Coffee Nap is basically a quick wink, but in the few minutes leading up to your nap, you have to drink your favorite caffeinated beverage.
4. Habitual Napping…taking a nap at the same time every day.
5. Leisurely Cat Nap...It may not seem like it, but you can actually get a full sleep cycle in if you nap for 90 minutes.A nap that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes will cause you to wake up in the middle of deep sleep and leave you feeling groggier than ever. Aim for a full 90 minutes so you can get a little extra sleep and still feel refreshed when you wake up.
6. Planned Napping, taking a nap before you actually get tired.
7. Spontaneous Quick Wink..This is the nap you don’t plan…It’s less of a full-on nap (technically it falls into the power nap category because it’s less than thirty minutes, but more on that one in a minute!) and more like when you just need to close your eyes and relax for a few minutes, and it turns into a brief nap. Just 15 to 20 minutes of snooze time and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on your to-do list.
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