Mammals love to nap. Every pet owner knows that dogs and cats are great nappers, and all you have to do is watch an Attenborough special to realise that the majority of mammals enjoy a nap as part of their daily routine. In fact, many people around the world still include naps as part of their day, like the well-known siesta.
Unfortunately for many of us living in the West, naps are often considered a lazy indulgence and are reserved only for weekends and holidays (unless you are Don Draper). Naps are proven to be a healthy interlude to our busy schedules and can reduce fatigue, restore our alertness, improve our cognitive performance and enhance our moods. Check out these tips to take your nap to the max.
Find Your Place
Some people like couch naps, others prefer to get into bed, some even enjoy getting out into the sun and napping in the park. Whatever your preference, find what works best for you and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert, rather than groggy and grumpy. If you have the freedom to jump into bed, then that’s probably where you’re going to get your most restful sleep, as long as you have the right mattress.
Find yourself a quality mattress in Melbourne – one that offers comfort and support. We spend so much of our time on this green Earth sleeping, and quality sleep makes such a huge difference to our quality of life, so make sure you find room in your budget for a good quality mattress.
Timing is Everything
If you try to nap too early, your body might not be ready for it and your mind might be too caught up in all the things you need to get done during the day to be able to relax. However, nap too late and you risk ruining your evening sleep. Napping between 1pm and 3pm has be proven to be ideal. And when you do get settled, don’t nap for too long – 15 to 30 minutes is the ideal length of time for the perfect nap.
Short naps give you a boost, without leaving you with that weird groggy feeling for the rest of the day where you feel caught somewhere between sleep and awake. It’s best to set an alarm to ensure you don’t overextend on your nap.
Try a Coffee Nap
Drinking a cup of coffee right before you nap has some proven benefits. Drink the coffee fairly quickly so you are lying down to nap within a few minutes of having it. An espresso works best as it can be knocked back quite quickly. The coffee will warm you and help induce sleep, and the caffeine takes about 20 minutes to be processed by your body so will kick in right when you are ready to wake up.
This coffee nap will help you wake up with a pep and leave your mentally sharp and ready to return to work for the afternoon. If you make your ‘napalatte’ your last coffee of the day, you will also find it easier to fall asleep at night, rather than pushing through the day without a nap and needing a late afternoon expresso to get you through that final meeting.
Finding the time in your day for a nap might seem difficult but it will improve your productivity and mood a great deal. If you get an hour for lunch, why not follow your meal with a quick 15 minutes of sleep. Even if you can’t fall straight to sleep, just taking that time out of your day to close your eyes and quieten yourself will reduce your blood pressure and rejuvenate your body. So find the time for a nap.