The nap. A lost art, previously reserved for our young kids, is making a strong resurgence among adults as the sleep deprivation epidemic continues to rage. In fact, many companies are giving employees a chance to catch some mid-day shut-eye - as executives realize a lack of rest can have a drastically negative effect on productivity. If you’re lucky enough to have time to grab a nap during the day, here are some tips to help you get the most out of it:
- Time it right: For a midday snooze, 25-30 minutes is the ideal amount to get best results. A nap longer than 30 minutes could increase the likelihood that you’ll fall into a deep sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and less productive once you awaken.
- Consider a sleep schedule: Dr. Sara Mednick, a published author and sleep expert, suggests that you should determine your naptime by when you start your day because of how your internal clock is wired. For most of us, the optimal naptime is between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Naps any later than 4 p.m. could negatively affect your ability to fall asleep at night.
- Ensure a Healthy Sleep Zone: No matter when you choose to take a nap, you should create a restful environment that promotes quality sleep. If possible, consider finding a cool, dark place where you can remove external distractions. In addition, it’s important to use a high-quality pillow protector to get the most out of your nap. These products provide a protective barrier between you and your pillow, helping to prevent allergens and irritants from affecting your health and preventing you from falling asleep.
- Set an alarm: For your brain to actually get the most out of your naptime, you shouldn’t worry about whether or not you’ll oversleep. In fact, this issue is often the reason people complain that they aren’t able to fall asleep in a timely manner during the day. By setting an alarm, you can put your mind at ease and allow yourself to drift off without fear of making it back to work on time.
By following these suggestions, you’ll be napping like a pro in no time and catching up on any lost sleep. Good luck!