There’s mounting evidence in neuroscience that shows sleep is important for our bodies. But very few consider napping during the day vital.
Part of the reason is that most people work in a traditional 9 – 5 and the idea of a nap seem alien. You will even seem lazy or unproductive. But that shouldn’t be the case.
Studies show that if you taking a nap during the day can improve your health. Napping during the days helps you to:
- Reduce the risk of heart-related death
- Think more clearly
- React faster
- Become more alert
If you want to nap during the day, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Keep it short and sweet
The ideal duration for afternoon naps is around 20 minutes and the best times to do this are between 2 pm and 3 pm.
Go more than that and you’d be heading straight into dreamland which will leave you feeling groggy and more tired when you wake up.
That is not what you signed up for. In these restful 20 minutes, you wake up feeling even more refreshed, well-rested and very active and all the other afternoon nap benefits.
Almost everything in life has rules and as the popular saying goes, there’s time for everything and that includes afternoon naps.
2. Consider taking coffee before napping during the day
Yes, hear me out here. There is a long history dating back about coffee and its relationship with sleep.
We all know coffee contains caffeine which spikes up our energy levels and keeps us active and also from sleeping.
When you drink coffee, the caffeine gets into your bloodstream through your small intestines. In the bloodstream, it fits into receptors.
These receptors usually hold the adenosine, a molecule released as a result of brain activity. High levels of adenosine connect with the receptors and bring on the feeling of tiredness.
Essentially, adenosine is a hormone that promotes sleep and caffeine is that compound that reduces the activity level of the adenosine.
The thing is, coffee should be taken right before the naps and should last for between 20 to 30 minutes. This is advisable because it is believed caffeine action kicks in after that time.
Limited research shows that taking coffee naps gives you an extra energy boost than naps or coffee alone.
3. Avoid napping before at least 5 hours before your standard bedtime
Sleep is the most amazing gift to mankind. The peace, rest and rejuvenation it brings make it difficult to wake up naturally especially in the afternoons.
It is good you have decided to take that bold step into improved attention and creativity through afternoon naps.
But sleeping too close to your normal bedtime will keep you awake and unable to have a good night’s sleep.