Being productive is an ebb and a flow. No-one is productive 100% of the time. There are lots of people who think they are but these are the kind of people that stay late every day to convince themselves that they’re ‘putting in extra work’ but are in fact just compensating for slow work-pace. These people need to introduce naps into their work life.
A common misconception is that naps are for the lazy or sleep deprived, we’re here to debunk that vicious reputation. There’s a (mildly) strong argument to say that actually naps are for the productive.
Those drowsy and irritated hours that everyone goes through in the middle of the day could be destroyed with just 30 minutes of solid napping. But it’s not as simple as just falling asleep at your desk, there needs to be serious preparation.
1. Get out of your own head
Don’t let guilt get in the way of quality napping time. Lying there thinking about napping is a waste of time. Realise that you’ll be so much more productive post-nap than you are in your current state.
2. Timing is everything
The best time to nap is immediately after lunch. Don’t wait until the middle of the afternoon, this is a more likely time to fall into deep sleep which will leave you groggy.
3. Eat accordingly
Avoid caffeine and sugary foods (obviously) and maybe consciously eat more protein and calcium, two nutrients that promote sleep!
So we’ve established the best ways to prepare yourself for the ideal nap but the difficulty is knowing which type of naps are beneficial for you. Your body and sleep schedule is unique so testing out these five naps, as detailed by LifeHack, should give you an indication of how you should be using your time.
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These are those 10-20 second sleeps that constitute as ‘nodding off for a second’. There’s no research to prove (or disclaim) any benefits of this approach.
Two to five minutes of napping has shown in the past to be effective at shaking off any residue sleepiness.
Five to twenty minutes of napping increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance,
The Original Power Nap
This is the tried and true, king of the naps. 20 minutes of shut-eye accumulates the benefits of the previous two naps but also acts as a cleanse for any useless information in your brain. Not only will you feel rested but your memory will be improved too!
The Lazy Nap
This one pushes 50-90 minutes – not so great during a work day. However, if you’re feeling sick/hungover but still have to do a bit of work, The Lazy Man’s Nap has some serious restorative effects.