Powernaps are fantastic! Well, that's just my personal opinion but every time I take one I just feel how it builds me up for the rest of the day. Somehow, by taking a nap, you are able to successfully divide your day into two distinctive parts. This might not seem important at all, but actually it is. Here's why.
Let's say you had a bad morning. The car broke down, you were late and didn't finish your tasks. By taking some time to relax it's almost like you get a second change to make something of this day. Take it, I say. On top of this, there are a bunch of others very compelling power nap benefits.
So to ensure your success, I would like to share with you my own top 10 powernap tips. Here goes:
I have found that the best time for a powernap is right after lunch. And there's actually a scientific explanation to this as well. Your body's temperature cycle has a small dip around that time every day (lower temperature means that you are easier to fall asleep). So I suggest that you set aside some time at around 1 or 2pm.
The best habit is simply to go straight to your napping place after lunch to regain some energy for the afternoon.
This is an obvious point of course :-) so just look for the best possible place for you. Make the conditions as similar to your normal sleeping situation as possible. Probably you won't find a bed in the middle of the office, but anywhere could actually work. At work you might find an empty meeting room you can lock, an empty office or perhaps even the toilet.
Yeah, I said it! It actually works. Before I found a better place, I used to tuck my head between my knees and just sleep.
Or you can do as the majority did in China while I was working there: Just lean back in your chair right in the middle of the open office landscape. No problem, just don't take in any of the disturbances around you :-)
But, OK, in general look for the three C's - a cool, clean and comfortable place.
Most of us are easily woken up by any disturbing noise so look hard for a suitable place. If you're unable to get it completely quiet, then just use earplugs or plug your ears with music to block out the sound.
Always remember to switch off your phone! You shouldn't even leave the vibrator mode on. It's just annoying and will wake you up from your nap.
You only have a short time for your powernap so you'd better stop thinking about all those things you have to do. This will take a bit of practice from your side, but by time you will improve. I promise.
In the beginning, I had a real hard time to push away all the thoughts entering my mind, but as I get better and better at relaxing and meditating this started to change. After a while, I was able to instantly relax once I entered my powernap room.
So when you start, try to see your mind as just a part of a river. There will be a constant flow of new water to your mind, but equally - there will be a constant flow out of your mind. So don't grab onto anything passing by, just watch as it happens. You will soon feel more calm and relaxed by letting your mind settle.
Become an observer of your mind, but don't take an active part.
No more, no less than 20 minutes. That's my own golden rule when it comes to an effective and powerful powernap. If you sleep too long, you will start feeling tired right afterwards and will have a hard time to wake up again. Too short, then there's no point really.
It's important to note that snoozing is of course absolutely forbidden! =) If you start going down that road, then your napping habits will soon just become a time-waster.
Once 20 minutes has passed, then get energized again! Get active! Pump yourself up!
Now is the time to get really motivated about your goals for the afternoon. Focus on one thing that you want to accomplish or finish. And however boring it might seem, look for that positive angle that will drive your forward.
A nap is not something that should be the starting point of a lazy second half of the day, so you really want to avoid the trap of getting even more tired afterwards. Hence, do all you can to quickly get energized!
Habit is critical if you want to experience awesome and highly effective powernaps. Every day, do it around the same time and don't vary too much. Just as when it comes to going to bed and waking up, the same applies for naps. If you're able to tell your body that at a certain time it's time to rest, always, then you'll surely get a much more rewarding experience every single day.
The things is that your body will soon start to understand your patterns of living and therefore trying to adjust the body cycles to work in favor of those patterns. So as long as you always do it right after lunch and eat lunch around the same time every day, then you're good to go.
Just as above, habits are powerful. When it comes to always using the same place, the benefits comes from recognition and getting into state quickly.
If you always try to get relaxed when you go into a certain room, you will sooner or later build a habit of doing this. And so what happens is that you won't even have to put any effort on trying to relax anymore. It will just happen automatically after a while. The reason is that this is exactly what your body is expecting to happen. It knows it's going to relax. So it does. Without even asking you anymore... :-)
Don't see taking a nap as though you're sneaking away from work or something else. This is a very destructive mindset that won't make your naps very rewarding. Instead, stand up for your new habit.
If you truly believe that this is good, then explain to anyone asking why you believe so. And as long as it gives you the right benefits, it doesn't matter what others think.
Besides, both of us knows it damn rewarding and it you're able to increase your productivity by just 10 per cent, then it's all more than worth it for everyone.
Now, I know you want to try...
Start tomorrow and try to use some of the powernap tips here and I'm sure you'll see some instant benefits.
Good luck and nap well!
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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