A Nap Sounds Like a Good Idea

Have you taken a NAP lately?  Your schedule might be so jam-packed that you think “there’s no way I have time for a nap!” but you may want to reconsider.

Prevention Magazine’s Jacqueline Parisi has looked at the research on afternoon naps and she says a nap may benefit your productivity levels by increasing alertness, creativity, recall, and memory in the second half of your day.

 

Also, a well-timed nap (right after lunch rather than in the late afternoon) can also help you recover after a sleep-deprived night.

 

Prevention’s article on naps quotes Ben Greenfield, the author of “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life.”

Greenfield offers this advice on getting the most out of an afternoon nap.

Don’t use your alarm clock unless you have to.  As you develop a healthy napping habit, your body will naturally wake up in 20 to 60 minutes. Also, jolting awake at the sound of your alarm gives you an unnatural injection of stressful adrenaline and cortisol.

Time your naps. Try to nap seven to eight hours after you wake up, you’re your mind is often the least alert.

Don’t drink coffee before your nap. Even a tiny amount of caffeine in your system can mess with your sleep quality.

Don’t exercise immediately before napping. Finish your workout at least 45 minutes before the start of your nap to get the best results.

Eat before your nap. If you’re hungry when you go down for a nap, odds are you are not going to sleep very well, so try napping right after lunch.

And stick to a schedule. If possible, nap at the same time every day. That way, your body will become accustomed the napping routine.

For more advice on napping, see Jaqueline’s article at Prevention.com.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.