A good nap makes you feel recharged from bouts of exhaustion or drowsiness, and it doesn’t make it hard for you to sleep at night. Sadly, a lot of us are always tired and don’t get enough sleep; so when we “nap,” we’re actually out for one to three hours—sometimes we even wake up and think it’s the following day. This oversleeping gives us a headache, makes us drowsy, and puts us in a state just as bad as the one before our nap, if not worse.
So here are some things to know and practice to get those good, short Zs.
1. Keep them short. The ideal length is 20 to 40 minutes. This is actually the power nap, which recharges your system and sharpens your performance again. Anything beyond that will make you have a deep sleep, which will make you feel dizzy when cut short.
2. Avoid napping more than once a day. According to sleep doctor Janet Kennedy, napping more than once a day will give you troubles falling asleep at night. If you feel like you need to nap twice or more, it might mean that your nighttime sleep isn't restorative. You might need to see your doctor to know if you have a sleeping disorder.
3. Set an alarm, and wake up when it rings. You do have work to finish. Setting an alarm (or two) helps you nod off easily because you know your naptime is numbered.
4. Take note of how your sleep is every night, how your naps are going, and how they’ve been making you feel. You should know if napping is good for you, and what time of the day and for how long they work for you best. Your daily functions and performance depends on how you keep yourself up and energized.
5. Know that regular naps aren’t for everybody. If it makes you feel worse even if your naps last for about the ideal half an hour, don’t do it regularly anymore. Instead, focus on waking yourself up. Walk, blast some music, chat with your friends, do whatever it takes.
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