Children take frequent naps throughout the day, especially in the afternoon. Adults, on the other hand, tend to wake up in the morning and stay awake until bedtime. This isn’t to say they don’t get tired. In fact, many try to fight off the sleepy sensation thinking it is a bad thing to do. However, research has shown that naps are incredibly beneficial. Naps can help adults feel more awake, alert, and even less anxious.
There is, however, a catch: not any nap will do. Power naps are what we are talking about, and if you want to maximize your afternoon productivity, here is what you should know about it.
What is power napping?
Power naps are sleeping sessions that do not take longer than 20 or 30 minutes. Generally, power naps in the afternoon are much more effective than in the morning. This is mostly because the body is designed for such an activity, and the afternoon drowsiness is what marks when you should be taking a power nap.
How long should I be power napping?
Although power naps tend to last only up to 30 minutes, there are some individuals that go up to an hour. There are pros and cons to different lengths. For instance, an hour-long nap can help to improve cognitive functioning. However, it may interfere with your actual sleeping schedule, making it harder to sleep. The best time will be different from one individual to the other, but we highly recommend starting off at 15 minutes first. If you wake up groggy, try a little longer until you find yourself waking fully energized!
How do I maximize my power naps?
Apart from trying to nail down the perfect time span for your naps, there are a few other things you can do to maximize your afternoon power naps.
If you love to drink coffee, we hate to tell you that you will have to avoid caffeine after 3:00 p.m. It can disrupt your naps, especially if you plan to nap around that time. Caffeine can hang around your body for up to six hours, so avoid caffeine if you plan to rest in four to six hours. Another tip we can give is that if you do not want to nap too long, try to use an alarm. In fact, it can help you nap better, simply because you are left worry-free when you are trying to rest. Finally, if you do not have the time to nap, simply close your eyes and rest your head on your chair, and just take a few minutes to yourself. Doing so will help your mind rest, giving you some restorative effects to reinvigorate your body to continue being productive.
Naps may seem counterintuitive when trying to stay productive, but they are actually great in terms of boosting it. It is far better to dedicate some time of the day to power nap rather than to power through work drowsily, simply because such naps help to restore energy and refresh the mind. As such, if you have been finding yourself to be drowsy at specific times in the afternoon, try and schedule some time to nap. If you cannot, remember that you can do some form of meditation to gain some of the beneficial effects of napping.
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