Napping: Benefits and Tips

Napping

Napping Success

The napping room is calling your name!napping on the job

It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon, post lunch and your last cup of coffee has long ago graced your desk and … you can barely keep your eyes open.  Your mind feels groggy, you feel like someone parked their dump truck full of gravel right where your eyelids go.  All you want to do is curl up under your desk for 20 minutes and take a nap. Just 20 minutes is enough to boost motor skill and focus.

Super productive, normally driven people don’t take naps, do they?

Yes, they do and naps are what make them so successful

A nap is exactly what you need in the afternoons to be your most productive and focused.

It has been proven that napping can improve stamina, focus, drive,  and motor skills, and enhance creativity.   Naps can also help reduce cravings so if fat loss is your goal, a nap is where it’s at!   After lunch, your blood sugars begin to dip and will often drive the body to crave sweets and starchy carbohydrates.  Taking a nap will boost your energy and get you past this tough spot

When you are dragging yourself through your projects, wouldn’t it be great to have a fresh burst of creativity and energy?  That is what a power nap can do for you.

Health Benefits of Napping

Napping Saves Friendships

Napping just 20 minutes a day will improve your mood and outlook on situations.  You’ll find yourself much less irritable and you will find yourself not sweating the small stuff.   Happy nappy!

Napping Saves Your Heart

Short naps will reduce stress and tension that will not only aid in reducing your risk of heart complications.   The risk of dying from a heart-related complication decreases in nap-takers (37% for those who nap at least 3 times per week!)

Napping Makes You Gorgeous

Napping causes a release of growth hormone.  Human growth hormone (HGH) is a muscle building, fat burning hormone that  aids in weight loss and maintenance of lean muscle mass.  HGH also helps you produce collagen which improves the elasticity of your skin and improves you wrinkle factor!

Convinced yet?

Ninja Napping Tips

napping timer15-30 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for the best power nap.  Berkeley biology students report that naps must be short in order to most effective. When naps exceed 45 minutes, the benefits begin to disappear. Just a 30 minute snooze can improve cognitive faculties by about 40%, according to NASA researchers.

A few notes on napping

  • Many people naturally wake up after 15-30 minutes of napping.
  • If you tend to be a longer nap-taker, set an alarm to awaken you so you do not oversleep.
  • Keeping your nap at 30 minutes or less will also prevent you from being overly groggy upon waking.
  • Try to be consistent.  
  • The best time for napping is between 1 and 3 in the afternoon, or approximately 8 hours after waking in the morning.
  • Darken the room.  Darkness causes your body to produce melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.  If you can’t darken the room, put on a sleep mask or even drape a jacket over your face.
  • Stay warm.  Your body temperature drops while you sleep.  Keep a blanket or jacket nearby to help stay warm.
  • Control noise.  If noise bothers you while you sleep, turn on a fan or white noise machine.  
  • Use smartphone Apps to help you turn off you wandering mind.  Some Apps use Binaural sounds can take the brain through different  sequences to take the brain into deeper levels of relaxation

Here are my favorites Sleep Apps

  • Mind Turner –  Powerful Binaural Programs that take your mind through scientifically developed brainwave sequences in order to achieve different states of mind, from increased alertness and creativity
  • Take A Break Meditations – Enjoy the deep relaxation, stress relief and benefits of  guided meditation and sounds of nature
  • Calm – I love the sounds of crackling fire and the soothing voices that read these sleep stories… I’d love to tell you what they are about but I’ve never made it to the end of a story!
  • Dormio  Dormio helps you sleep easier and more deeply so that you wake up feeling refreshed and alive. Dormio is great for lucid dreaming, insomnia, and restlessness

 

If there is literally no time for a nap and you’ve already had that second cup of coffee for the day, the next best thing you can do is to get up and get active.  A short burst of activity, even if it is just a walk around the building can do amazing things to give you a pick me  up that will leave you feeling refreshed and more focused to hit the second half with the best of yourself

Is nighttime sleep and issue? Check out this blog post about my nighttime sleep routine hacks

Happy Nappy!

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