Take A Nap
If you are finding it difficult to get in your 7-9 hours of nightly sleep that are required for you to function at your best, try a nap.
A brief 10-20-minute nap may not only reduce sleepiness, it may improve alertness, energy and cognitive performance (1, 2)
Follow these tips:
1. Choose a dark, quiet, comfortable place where you can relax without interruption.
2. Make sure the temperature is comfortable.
3. Establish a routine by napping at the same time each day. A quick nap after lunch is less likely to interfere with night-time sleep than one later in the day.
4. Set an alarm, so you don’t sleep for too long.
5. You don’t necessarily have to be at home to grab a quick nap. You can nap in your office (with the door closed of course), your car, or outside, if the weather is nice.
6. To help to establish your routine, bring along an item that you associated with sleep, like a pillow, calming playlist, warm socks, cozy blanket or a calming essential oil, like lavender.
7. Longer naps (30 mins or more) may be accompanied by grogginess that sometimes lingers, so give yourself time to wake fully before returning to any activity.
This post is part of the Radical Self Care series. To see more, click here.
1. Tietzel AJ, Lack LC. The recuperative value of brief and ultra-brief naps on alertness and cognitive performance. J Sleep Res. 2002;11(3):213-218.
2. Brooks A, Lack L. A brief afternoon nap following nocturnal sleep restriction: which nap duration is most recuperative? Sleep. 2006;29(6):831-840.