Napping is great for your mind, body, and soul. I think. The truth is, we know very little about sleeping and napping and why humans exist and who Gayle King really is. Some things will just always remain a mystery!
However, I do know that when I learned to effectively nap, I was about ten billion times happier, and slept better at night, too. It's true, I don't know anything about pretty much anything (as you may have noticed), but I do know how to sleep. I think it's because of my parents constant loud-ass fighting while I was growing up, I learned at a young age to sleep through pretty much anything — including a few strong Earthquakes. Thanks, Mom and Dad! Even during my most stressed out times, I can take a quick trip to lala land and soak in dream-sponsored denial. I'm telling you, learn to nap, it's the business.
Mental Floss has some great tips for getting that power nap in. Here are a few of my favorites:
Keep It Short
"There's some good research showing that people function better after shorter naps," [Dr.] Shives [of of Northshore Sleep Medicine] explains. "A 10-minute nap, really, is best. When people nap only 10 minutes, they score better on cognitive tests. As you lengthen the nap time, those scores go down. When you get beyond 30 minutes, it's worse than if you hadn't slept at all!"
Time Your Z's
Knowing when to nap is crucial. All people have a "circadian dip," an hour or two during the day when their energy bottoms out. "If you get in touch with your body, you should begin to get a sense of when you're hitting that low," Shives explains. She suggests tracking your energy levels for a few days and making the nadir nap time.
Take your snooze as seriously as you would a work assignment. "If you're grabbing a nap at the office, bring one of those neck pillows with you," Shives says. "And bring the little eye mask too. Light is the number one most powerful stimulator of your body. It tells you when to sleep and when to wake up."
The gear thing is super important. I would also suggest, if your situation allows such things, to have a little blanket that you can wrap around yourself. Cutting light off from your entire body is important, and so is being toasty warm.
I'm actually making myself sleepy typing this. Maybe working the night shift wasn't the best idea I ever had.
Image via Eyalos / Shutterstock.