If you find yourself constantly drained of energy throughout the day or crashing early in the evening, you might be deprived of sleep. One of the most effective ways to really provide yourself with an energy and mental boost to keep yourself engaged fully and mentally alert is by giving yourself a short nap during the day. However, napping is not as simple as going to sleep during the day and waking up naturally. Believe it or not, there is a science to taking an effective nap.
Adhere To The 30 Minute Limit
To experience the greatest benefits from your nap, you should stick to a 30-minute limit. Short naps are going to be most effective with a 20 to 30-minute duration as found by the National Sleep Foundation. This is the total amount of time needed to provide you with physical and mental rest without entering into a state of deep sleep. If you enter a deep sleep while napping and don't go through the full cycle, you will end up waking up groggy and even more tired than you were previously. If you have ever taken a long nap and felt worse upon waking up, it is because your body entered the stage of deep sleep without finishing the cycle which can throw your body and mental state off balance.
Take Caffeine Naps
If you are really looking to give yourself a significant boost of energy with a mid-day nap, there is a hack that you can implement. However, for it to be effective, you will need to adhere to specific guidelines and timelines. By drinking a cup of coffee or taking in caffeine directly prior to taking your nap, you will be able to allow the caffeine to kick in right as you wake up. Because caffeine takes around 20 to 30 minutes to really come into effect. When timed properly, you should be able to achieve a jolt of caffeine as you wake up from your power nap. Because caffeine can begin producing its desired effects at around the 20-minute mark, you should be looking to keep this nap on the shorter side ending at around 20 to 25 minutes.
Avoid Napping Late
If you are planning on introducing naps into your daily routine, you will want to avoid napping too late. The National Sleep Foundation notes that napping too late in the day can throw off your body's natural circadian rhythm and cause you more trouble when it comes time to fall asleep at night. Instead, you should take in a nap anywhere from 12 pm to 2 pm as this will coincide with the natural low point of your body's internal clock.
Getting in an effective nap can really provide you with a physical and mental boost. The key is knowing how to get an effective nap into your routine. When introduced improperly, napping can be a hindrance to your daily life. Follow the tips above and you should be able to improve your energy levels and mental performance each day with an effective nap.