Feeling tired? Getting in a little extra shut-eye during the day can make all the difference. More than one-third of U.S. adults take a daily nap. Taking a nap can help with drowsiness, increase alertness, and may even improve your health.
Around seventy million people in the United States suffer from sleep disorders including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. As sleep experts, we’re in full support of extra snooze time, especially for those who struggle to sleep well at night. So, here are four ways to get the most out of nap time and enjoy all the benefits a power nap has to give.
The Time of Day
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Why do I sleep better during the day?” You’re not alone. While sleep may not come easy at night, it can feel effortless during the day—specifically during the afternoon.
There is a natural decline in energy in the afternoon, so it’s the perfect time to take a nap. Try to take a nap before or after eating lunch during this “afternoon slump” period. You should wake up feeling more rested and alert. And, most important, a well-timed afternoon nap shouldn’t keep you from falling asleep at night.
How Long to Nap
While it may be tempting to take a long nap during the day, you’re typically better off with a short power nap. So, what is a power nap? It’s a 10- to 20-minute nap that gives you a boost of energy and comes with a lot of health benefits.
For a power nap to be effective, it should be no longer than 20 minutes. If it’s any longer you risk falling into a deeper sleep that can throw off your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy (and nobody wants that).
If you only have a short time to get in a quick nap, there’s no time to waste. In addition to getting comfortable, it’s time to close the laptop and get off your phone. Blue light is especially disruptive, so don’t lay down for a nap with your phone in hand or the TV on in the background.
It's also a good idea to settle in for a nap somewhere comfortable, but not too comfortable. Find a quiet spot with gentle, indirect light instead of complete darkness. And if you want to nap in bed, make your bed and nap on top with a light blanket so you aren’t tempted to sleep the day away.
Take a Deep Breath
There are certain breathing techniques that can help you relax and fall into an easy sleep. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and paying attention to your natural breathing pattern. Another technique, 4-7-8 breathing, is derived from yoga and focuses on specific timed breathing patterns.
You can also help your body relax with aromatherapy. Try diffusing a relaxing scent or using an aromatherapy spray on your pillow or throw blanket. Scents like lavender and chamomile are naturally relaxing and sleep-inducing.
We hope these four tips help you take the perfect afternoon nap. We know how important good sleep is, visit our website to upgrade your sleep and shop pillows, sheets, furniture, adjustable bed bases, and more.