These simple tips will give you the best nap of your life
The glorious power nap has gotten many of us through the day...
While it's difficult to get enough sleep if you've a busy schedule, a coffee isn't always the answer to staying alert all day.
In fact, taking a short nap in the middle of the day could be the most effective way of recharging your batteries and ensuring you're working at your optimum throughout the day.
But you have to be careful when taking a nap, as certain types of naps are suited to different lifestyles.
The Sleep Foundation have said that naps can be typed in three different ways:
- Planned napping (also called preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. You may use this technique when you know that you will be up later than your normal bed time or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier.
- Emergency napping occurs when you are suddenly very tired and cannot continue with the activity you were originally engaged in. This type of nap can be used to combat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.
- Habitual napping is practiced when a person takes a nap at the same time each day. Young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.
W. Chris Winter, M.D. is the author of the book, The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It, and he gave Men's Health some tips on achieving the perfect nap.
His number one tip is to always set an alarm before you go for your nap.
Setting a certain timeframe and sleeping for that length every time trains your brain to expect that much rest, according to Winter. In the long run it will help you fall asleep quicker and feel more refreshed when you wake up.
He also says it's important not to nap at random times as having a set time will also train your brain to expect sleep at a certain time and be ready for it.
According to MentalFloss.com, it takes about 50% longer to fall asleep sitting up than lying down, which is why we sleep so poorly on planes and trains. Pick a dark, comfortable place that’s not too warm or too chilly. Prevention.com recommends taking your nap on a couch rather than in your bed, as there will be a temptation to sleep too long in your bed.