Photo Credit: Gregory Pappas
Although it may seem counter productive to take an afternoon nap when you are trying to get things done. But in fact sleep studies have shown a short afternoon nap can boost productivity and creativity. With that being said there is a right way and wrong way to nap, napping incorrectly can cause you to feel drowsier and less productive then you felt before the nap.
It is difficult in this fast paced, busy time we are living to get the minimum requirement of sleep, which is at least 7 hours. Here are some tips and benefits that catching some mid day zzz’s provide:
- The biggest drops in energy levels happens for most people between the times of 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM a s short afternoon nap can help combat these feelings of drowsiness.
- Duration is very important. The perfect afternoon nap has to be timed correctly or you could awake from the wrong stage in the sleep cycle resulting in tiredness and difficulty in waking up. A power nap should be anywhere between 10-20 minutes, this should be just enough to boost your productivity to get you through the rest of the afternoon. Although if your schedule permits take a 60-90 minute nap, as this will allow for a full revolution of the sleep cycle.
- The right window to nap is very important as well. The best times to take a nap fall between 1 PM – 4 PM. Although be careful as the later in day you nap the more it could effect your night time sleep schedule. This varies form person to person so pay close attention how different afternoon nap times effect your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Record and journal your naps. This may seem like a ridiculous concept but to truly understand and “life hack” something like the perfect nap you have to record some data. Just as you would with a workout journal, recording nap times and durations and how they effected your nighttime sleep as well as your overall performance and energy levels will allow for you to get this practice down to a science.
- Nap in the dark. Although this may be very challenging when working in an office to find a dark place to take a snooze. There are two cheap items you can buy to easily ale this problem. A set of earphones and a eye mask like you would get on the airplane. Explore the amazing videos the internet has to offer like asmr and ambient sound videos that will help relax you enough to fall asleep in a not so comfortable environment.
Although these tips may not be taught in first aid training or first aid courses, these tips are very important to both your physical and mental health. Utilize these 5 easy tips to nap yourself to a more productive day.
If your interested in finding out more about our Mental Health First Aid course click here.