Despite the current stigma attached to napping, history is awash with accomplished nappers. Leonardo Da Vinci preferred a series of small naps every few hours to a prolonged night sleep. Thomas Edison was also an inveterate napper.
We all require a certain amount of sleep to stay healthy but the amount varies from individual to individual. And if we do not meet our basal sleep need, we accumulate a sleep debt that can adversely affect our health. If ,at any time, you are unable to get your optimal night sleep, try to make it up by taking naps during the day.
There is a plethora of benefits linked to napping. Even a twenty minute nap can help to renew our vital forces. The effectiveness of our immune cells increase when we get out adequate amount of sleep. It also helps to reduce calcium buildup in our heart arteries. The chemical balance associated with a good sleep helps to maintain a healthy body mass index too.
The best time to nap is between 1-3 in the afternoon. This is the time our bodies need the rest the most, assuming we are up at dawn. Nap length of 10-20 mins is ideal for a power nap to boost energy and alertness. Anything longer will result in a hangover kind of grogginess.
Here are a few tips to help you nap better:
1) Find a safe quiet place to retire and clear your mind of any bothersome thoughts.
2) Empty your bladder before hand so that your nap is not disturbed.
3) Remove anything that will prevent you from relaxing eg cellphones, computers etc.
4) Make sure you are warm or cool based on wherever you are.
5) Find a comfortable posture that supports your neck and limbs.
A final counter intuitive tip is to drink a cup of coffee or tea just before your nap! This may sound crazy but given the fact that the caffeine takes about 20 mins to travel through your digestive system, you can fit in a short snooze before it takes effect. When you wake up you are ready and raring to go. Ingenious isn't it?