A mainstay of preschools everywhere, the nap is something we are expected to give up as adults, save for those taken on lazy weekend afternoons. But studies show that naps are just as beneficial to adults as they are to children.
A nap between 20-30 minutes:
- Helps to improve mood, boosts concentration, and can help with memory
- Boosts your immune system
- Keeps stress at bay
Many cultures incorporate an extended lunch time or even nap time into their work day to combat the dreaded afternoon slump. Siesta from Spanish cultures, Riposo in Italy, and desk naps in Japan and China are all making more companies in the US curious about the benefits of midday naps. Some companies are even jumping on board by creating onsite "nap rooms" for their employees.
If you’re a nap novice, here are some tips on how to get the most from your nap:
- On lunch break, close your office door or head out to your car to catch some zzz’s. Pack headphones and plug into some ambient noise. Consider a sleep mask to block light. Just make sure you set an alarm!
- Since a nap is meant to be quick, falling asleep fast is key. Give yourself time to start unwinding before settling in. Do some of the more menial tasks on your to do list, read, or stretch.
- Keep timing in mind. Our blood sugar slumps in the early afternoon, usually between 1-3 PM. This is when taking your nap will prove the most beneficial.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t fall asleep. Quiet Wakefulness , the act of lying still, zoning out, and keeping your eyes closed, has many of the same surface benefits to sleep. The trick is to turn your mind off and give those neurons a rest.
Naps aren’t an adequate substitute for a good night’s sleep, but they may be the cure to that 2pm feeling.
Maybe you need some extra pillows so you can nap where ever you are? We can help with that.