Don’t get me wrong, I am huge supporter of naps – but sometimes it seems like they’re not quite worth the risk. We’ve all had that nap horror experience: waking up expecting to feel refreshed and rejuvenated, but in reality you wake up unsure of where you are or what decade it is. It’s a tricky balance – sleep too little, and you haven’t rested, but sleep too much, and on top of wasting precious hours, you feel even more tired than before.
Try to find the balance with these tips to make your nap as productive as possible.
1. Sleep for 20 minutes or less
This is the most important rule for a good nap – any longer than twenty minutes and you risk waking your body out of the middle of a deep sleep, which is what causes the post-nap exhaustion that we all know too well. Although a quick snooze doesn’t always guarantee success, the odds are much better than if you’d extended the time.
2. Set an alarm. And don’t allow yourself to snooze it.
Although this seems obvious, it can be so easy to just lie down without setting an alarm, and so hard to resist hitting the snooze button. From personal experience, hitting snooze can turn a twenty-minute nap into a groggy ordeal that takes up half your day.
3. Schedule it in
My most effective strategy to make sure that you sleep for the right amount of time is to time your naps so you can’t hit snooze– if you wake up twenty minutes before your class or other important commitment, you have no choice but to get up.
When you get the timing right, naps can be a great way to revive yourself so you can take on the rest of your day. Happy napping!