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.
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