Naps are amaze-balls, and I genuinely believe naps, done correctly, help improve my overall wellness, and being rested is part of my slow living lifestyle. I wrote this article because taking the perfect nap has helped me and might you too.
Naps are healthy and can make you more productive and creative.
Start taking naps regularly, and you will be surprised how much healthier and alert you feel!
This article describes how taking a nap has improved my health and daily mindset to being more productive and creative.
Table of contents
- Why I Started Taking Naps
- 7 Steps To Take The Perfect Nap
- 5 Benefits From Taking A Nap
I am not a medical professional, so make sure naps will not cause you more harm than good. For example, if you have sleep apnea, it would probably be good to run the whole nap idea by your doctor.
That said, let’s assume the occasional nap is fine. The American Psychological Association states even people who sleep fine at night and are not necessarily tired during the day can still benefit from an occasional nap.
Why I Started Taking Naps
I didn’t always take naps. In fact, like most running on the corporate hamster wheel, I was always focused on running faster and longer.
My body and mind started to react negatively to that lifestyle, and I needed to slow down and get my overall health in order. I’ll spare you the details, you can read more here, but my doctors said I had to lose weight, start exercising, reduce stress, and get more rest.
So I did.
Interestingly, the more I exercised, the more energized I felt, but I also felt a little groggy at the same time.
I enjoyed the endorphins and stress-reducing benefits of exercise while feeling a bit tired at the same time.
At first, I tried coffee, but that tended to make me feel more jittery than awake and rested. Plus, I had high blood pressure then, so I was very stingy with my caffeine consumption.
I just laid down one afternoon and woke up feeling great. Since then, I have incorporated napping into my lifestyle ever since.
7 Steps To Take The Perfect Nap
Opinions on the best ways to nap may vary, but these are my go-to suggestions for taking the perfect nap. Feel free to tweak them to fit your unique health and lifestyle.
1. Find A Place To Nap
One can nap almost anywhere, but finding a place without interruptions is essential.
The level of noise is up to you. Some want silence; I prefer background noise. Opening a window and hearing nature in the background is comforting and promotes calmness.
Also, you need to lie down or sit reclined enough so your head lays down naturally and you can completely relax.
2. Set A 30 Minute Time Limit
I do not set an alarm clock for the morning; I wake up when I wake up.
However, I always set an alarm clock when I take a nap.
In fact, according to Johns Hopkins, long naps can work against you like temporary grogginess and inability to sleep at night.
I set my alarm for 25 minutes, giving me 5 minutes to take my time and wake up slowly. There are many free alarm apps for your phone if you need one.
After you set the alarm, close your eyes. Focus on slow, full breaths, but not necessarily deep breaths.
Mentally relax your feet, then your knees, and work your way up to your body. Let your head and shoulder float.
Make sure your jaw is relaxed and continue to breathe naturally in and out. Focus on your breathing and think of nothing else.
Sometimes I start over if I am not asleep after a minute or two.
Experiment, but you will get better at falling asleep with practice.
3. Do Not Nap After 3 PM
If I nap past three in the afternoon, I notice it can negatively impact the time it takes me to fall asleep at night.
We are all built differently, so experiment with what works best for you and your schedule.
4. Do Not Stress If You Do Not Sleep
Sometimes our body will not fall asleep, and that is perfectly fine. I find that just closing my eyes and relaxing my mind and body for that time provides the same benefits as sleeping for that time.
Some call it meditating, and I call it napping, but the point is to let your mind and body relax and reboot a little before you start the balance of your day.
5. Have Time To Wake Up
The 5 minutes I allocate to wake up is perfect for me, but you can adjust. I find waking up too fast undoes the nap.
When I rush to wake up and start something, I feel stressed.
When I wake up slowly, I feel energized and stress-free.
Make sure to allow a few minutes to continue laying down, stay relaxed, look around, and let your body and mind slowly boot up.
6. Drink A Glass Of Water
Drinking water is something I do when I first get up n the morning, so I also do it when I get up from a nap.
I have at least one big glass of water. Water always makes me feel good, and staying hydrated helps boost your energy.
7. You Do Not Have To Nap Everyday
Don’t make napping another thing you must stress about because that defeats the purpose. If you can fit it in, great. If you can only do it a few days a week, great.
I tend to nap four times a week on average. When work doesn’t allow me to take the perfect nap, I can still find some time to close my eyes and relax my mind and body for 15 minutes a few times a day.
So the benefits of napping are real. But, do not let the lack of naps be stressful.
5 Benefits From Taking A Nap
Let me summarize why I nap. For me, these are the five critical benefits added to my life from taking the perfect nap:
1. I Wake In An Optimistic Mood
A nap always puts me in good spirits, but you should know that over napping can have the opposite result. So it may be best to stick with quick naps.
2. I Do Not Feel Any Stress
Relaxing your body and brain with a nap will almost always reduce my stress and blood pressure. It is magic!
3. I Feel Alert and Creative
After a nap, I feel like I can take on the world! All my senses are on high alert, and I feel like doing things.
4. I Do Not Feel Any Anxiety
I had a real problem with anxiety attacks in the past, and slowing down and incorporating naps into my daily routine helped. Napping was an essential part of an overall plan to reduce anxiety.
5. I Sleep Better At Night
It might sound counterproductive, but getting a short nap during the nap actually helped me sleep better at night. It is because I had less stress and felt more relaxed.
Now, your mileage will almost certainly vary. We all have unique health, so experiment and see how adding the perfect nap to your lifestyle will benefit you.
<Yawning> Now that I posted this article, I think I’ll take a nap before writing another one.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Below is some footer stuff to consider.