Remember the good old days when Mum insisted you have an afternoon nap every day?
Whether you're repaying a sleep debt or just need to power down and relax for a few minutes, a quality nap can improve alertness, performance, creativity and focus. But did you know there is an art to taking the perfect nap? Here's our tips for mastering the art of napping.
1. Choosing your Nap Length
A short 10-15 minute power nap can boost productivity and has been shown to increase focus for 2 hours in the sleep deprived. But to reap the full benefits of your nap, experts recommend an optimal nap duration of 20-30mins which is long enough to achieve a proper sleep without leaving you groggy.
2. Nap between 1-3pm
The human body is hardwired to experience sleepiness between 1-3pm so this is the perfect time to schedule your nap. It's also long enough before bedtime to make sure your nap doesn't interfere with your night time sleep.
3. Create the perfect nap environment
For most people the perfect sleep setting is dark & quiet. If you don't have a dark, quiet space available, turn any room into an instant nap haven with a sleep mask and ear plugs.
4. Use a weighted blanket
Research has shown that weighted blankets can help regulate mood and ease relaxation by increasing serotonin in the body. Choose a blanket in a natural fabric with enough weight to feel cosy without being too hot. The cotton Napping Blanket in our Nap Lover's Kit is a great option.
5. Need a serious mid-afternoon energy boost? How about a Coffee Nap?
The phenomenon of Coffee Napping was first studied by British scientists at Loughborough University, looking into ways to combat driver sleepiness. They found that the combination of caffeine and a nap was more effective than either one alone at improving alertness and energy levels. The idea is to drink a caffeinated beverage and then immediately take a 20 minute nap. Because the caffeine takes approx that long to kick in, you wake up to the effects of the coffee or tea while being simultaneously refreshed by the nap.
And most importantly... like everything else, practice makes perfect, so we recommend committing to regular practice if you truly want to master the art of napping!