Take a Power Nap, feel better and be more Productive

Throughout history many famous people including Thomas Edison, Mark Twain and numerous American presidents are known to valued a power nap, and the British Prime Minister David Cameron recently confessed to taking them.

Whilst a lot of people enjoy the benefits of taking a power nap during the day, there are also many that scoff at the idea; these are also the people that complain of constant tiredness and grogginess.

Whether you’re nodding off during the afternoon slump at the office, working a double or a night shift, or fighting drowsiness while driving, a power nap can make you more alert and productive.

Whilst you’re power napping you are in either the first or second stage of your sleep cycle, power napping for 30 minutes, stops you falling in to the deeper stages of your sleep cycle and so ensures that you wake feeling refreshed as opposed to feeling no better than you did before due to a lack of sleep. With practice and experience, you will learn to both welcome and enjoy a nap, allowing you to refresh your body and mind. You will also experience increased productivity, allowing you to get more done over the course of your day. You will also have more energy to enjoy your evening too!!

Build a power nap into your daily schedule with these ideas;

Short power naps provide great results.

Research by the National Sleep Foundation found that even short power naps of 15-20 minutes were shown to invigorate people that needed a break.

Make yourself comfortable.

To ensure that your power nap is of use, you need to be comfortable, take your jacket and tie off, slacken your belt, and remove your shoes. These simple actions will make you comfortable and ensure a productive nap.

Don’t feel you have to fall asleep.

Don’t fall in to the trap of thinking you have to fall asleep, whilst a few minutes sleep is better than none at all. Sometimes the mere act of lying down, closing your eyes, and relaxing your body and mind can still have similar benefits.

Set an alarm.

You can’t truly relax if you’re worried that you may oversleep. The famous artist, Salvador Dali, is reported to have taken power naps with a spoon in his hand. When he fell into a relaxed sleep, the spoon would fall to the floor and hit a strategically placed metal pan, the resulting noise would wake up. Dali claimed this was the perfect length of power nap.
Now your system of alarms doesn’t have to be as elaborate as that of Salvador Dali, but consider setting the alarm on your phone or tablet and fall asleep with a clear mind.

Experiment with longer power naps.

If time allows, try napping for 30 minutes or more. Become aware of how you feel after power naps of various lengths. Some people find that power napping beyond a certain length of time leaves them feeling sluggish and groggy.

Experiment with multiple naps.

Some people find that they are unable to nap for extended periods of time and take several longer naps instead. One nap is good, two maybe even better.

Develop a waking routine

Be aware that it may take you a few minutes to become 100% awake, so develop a routine, stretch, have a drink of water, take a short walk and then start with simple activities such as filing papers, checking emails or listening to voicemails.

Recognize when you need a power nap.

Different people will display different signs that they may need a nap, but some common signs are fatigue, irritability and difficulty focusing on tasks, if you find yourself suffering from any of these a quick power nap might be just what you need.
You might believe that power napping is not for you, but research shows that almost everyone can benefit from one or two during the day. Give it a go and you will see your productivity increase, and your day become more enjoyable.

Till Next Time

Mike Gardner – The time Doctor

Ps – If You have found these tips useful you may like to consider joinging my Facebook Group, The Time Management Academy. The group has over three hundred members who along with myself are dedicated to sharing skills, techniques and resources in order to significantly benefit you in your journey to have more control of their time and a more balanced life.

click here to join The Time Management Academy

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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9 thoughts on “Take a Power Nap, feel better and be more Productive

  1. So many great suggestions, Mike. I’ve always known of the value of a power nap. While working in Corporate America one of my colleagues was a great Power Napper. She’d go into the breakroom, put her head on the table and nap for just 10 minutes. She’d be a new woman, with renewed energy when she got back to her desk.

    I, on the other hand, never mastered the art, I call it, yet knew that if I was able to sleep for just 10-15 minutes, I’d feel better. Since I could not (over years of trials) I wouldn’t bother. I noticed that you mentioned that just relaxing and closing the eyes would be helpful, so I’m going to try that. Thank you.
    Yvonne A Jones recently posted…Why You Need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)My Profile

  2. I’m not much if a napper but I never considered that I could just sit down, close my eyes, and relax. I was being literal….nap = sleeping, but alas I believe I’ll adjust my thinking!!

    Great post!
    Robyn recently posted…Let It Begin With MeMy Profile

  3. This is great Mike! I’m a big fan of the power nap – either for a short sleep, or as you suggest, 15 minutes to just turn off and let my body relax.
    I think it makes me much more productive, and a happy mummy 🙂

  4. Mike I have been napping since college and honestly I don’t know how I would have survived the early years of motherhood without the skill! My husband is really jealous that I can actually take a 15-20 nap and feel truly refreshed. It works better for me than a cup of coffee… I can literally feel my mind getting foggy prior to my usual afternoon power nap, and I wake up feeling clear and re-energized. It is also an important habit for me because it forces me to quiet my busy brain. As a wife, mom, entrepreneur, photographer, blogger, and human 😉 I find that napping is essential to my sanity! Thanks for sharing this!
    Jessica Aiduk recently posted…How a “Watch” Strengthened My Resolve to be Present… Plus a Giveaway for YouMy Profile

  5. Thanks Mike. I understand that Winston Churchill was also a great fan of power naps and look what he accomplished! I used to power nap on the train home from work – knowing that the first stop out of Waterloo was the stop before mine and the time to wake up. It made my evening productive instead of a TV slump.
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  6. My grandmother gave birth to 9 children. She was a firm believer in power naps and she’d take one every day for just 20 minutes. She claimed it worked wonders for her and I believe it. She always got a lot accomplished every day and she was almost always in a great mood. Thanks to her, I’m a firm believer that power naps can benefit everyone every day – even if they’re just for a few minutes.
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