How a Nap Can Help You Get Through the Day

I’ve been very tired lately. I’ve had a few late nights as I get ready for FinCon, and as I get my book ready for publication. (It’s supposed to come out October 17.) Of course, I have to keep up with all of my work on top of everything else I’m doing. So I’ve been a bit stressed, up late, and I’m quite tired.

Today, though, I’m finally breaking down. I’m going to have a nap. And it’s going to be a somewhat long one. Lifehacker has a handy list of the benefits of different lengths of naps, and I’m going to go for the 90-minute option. According to the post, a 90-minute nap offers a complete REM cycle, and isn’t likely to leave me dragging from the effects of sleep inertia. It’s true that I could take a 20-minute power nap and probably get by, but I’m so exhausted that I think a longer solution is in order for today.

I’ve got an alarm set for the time I need to get up and get my son from school (forcing me to get up rather than stay in nap position). It’s all about creating a situation in which I can succeed. And hopefully feel better and ready to tackle more work when I wake up.

Napping and Your Health

Napping can help you battle the effects of sleep deprivation, as well as help you feel more refreshed later on. Plus, according to WebMD, napping is better than a caffeine-filled drink. Napping helps you improve in cognitive areas, as well as provide you with energy. With caffeinated beverages, you get a jolt of energy, but you might be more prone to mistakes.

I like the idea of napping because it can help promote your overall health and wellbeing. I’ve started struggling with taking care of my physical health again, mainly because of my lack of sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to difficulties with concentrating, as well as drops in self-discipline. You make worse decisions when you’re tired. I need to get on top of things and take better care of myself.

Tips for Better Napping

Some of the tips WebMD offers for more effective napping include:

  • Make it a habit: Developing the habit of napping can be good for you. You reduce your stress level and boost your energy. Even if you just do a 20-minute nap each day, you can reap the benefits.
  • Schedule your naps: The best time to nap is sometime between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don’t overdo it: The real risk with napping is overdoing it. You want to be careful to avoid sleeping for too long. Keep it to 20 to 30 minutes if you want to wake up refreshed from your nap. If you go longer for a power nap, though, you might feel groggy due to sleep inertia. If you need to make connections and boost creativity, the suggestion is 60 to 90 minutes. Set a timer or alarm so that you don’t go over. You want to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the next problem.
  • Get comfy: Make sure you are comfortably warm and in a darkened room. You’ll fall asleep faster and sleep better.

What do you think? Could a nap boost your health and wellness, and make you more productive?

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.