I SUCK AT NAPPING. Fact. Over the years I’ve discovered that I don’t do well with it. If I dare to doze then I’m usually down for the count. I close my eyes after lunch and don’t get up again until 8 or 9 in the evening at which point I figure I’ve blown the entire day so I might as well feed my little furball, Mischa, and go back to bed. I’m pretty sure after seven hours it no longer constitutes a nap. It’s just full on sleeping at that point.
THIS IS WHY I just don’t nap – it isn’t just an hour that I lose but an entire day….and I don’t like it. So I decided to learn how to nap. Yes. Learn how to nap. And here’s what I learned:
How To Nap
To Thine Own Self Be True
ARE YOU an early bird or a night owl? I always have a hard time knowing how to answer this question because I go to sleep late and wake up early without an alarm. So let’s break it down a bit…
YOU’RE A NIGHT OWL IF: you’re naturally inclined (meaning not dictated by your work/life schedule) to stay up past midnight and wake naturally after 8am.
YOU’RE AN EARLY BIRD IF: you start to wind down around 10pm and are up and at ‘em around 6 or 7am.
ALL YOU night owls will start to get sluggish around 3pm while the early birds will hit their slump around 1pm. These are, more than likely, your ideal nap times. If you can nap during these natural lulls in liveliness then perfect! If not, no big deal…just get it in when you can.
DON’T JUST lay down and hope for the best. Go into your nap with a game plan. Grab your phone and set the alarm to one of the following times to reap the following benefits:
20 MINUTES: increased concentration, alertness and motor skills as well as mood improvement.
45 MINUTES: same as above but because you’ve entered REM sleep your creativity and sensory processing get a nice little boost too.
90-120 MINUTES: take all the good stuff from the 20 and 45 minute naps and throw in a big ol’ dose of improved memory recall. A long nap also allows you to catch up on lost sleep – something we all need more often than not.
Maximize Your Nap
MAKE THE MOST of your nap by turning the relaxation up (or should I say down) a notch.
LESS LIGHT, PLEASE: pull the shades, close the curtains or put on an eye mask to encourage a more restful state.
LAY DOWN: sure you can nap sitting up, but it isn’t as restful and it will take longer for you to doze off.
COZY UP: cover up with a lightweight blanket to fend of any sleepytime chills.
I TESTED THESE last week and I had great results. I can finally nap without sleeping the day away! Now if I can just stop the guilt train that makes me feel unproductive from pulling into the station, Queen Mab and I can finally be bff’s in snuggly slumber.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you a napper? Do you have any advice for us napping novices? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick