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Take a nap to improve your energy and wellbeing

Take a nap - image of a cat napping.

What’s the Idea?

Take a nana nap, 40 winks, a cheeky afternoon snooze! You will feel much refreshed and ready to move forward productively with your day.

What’s the story

I taught myself to take nana naps when I started to DJ in the early 2000s.

I used to come home from work exhausted at the end of the week, but needed to pick myself up and get back out at around 10 pm on a Friday night – exactly the time I would normally be going to sleep!

So napping is an art I had to learn…

I started off training myself with an alarm so that I didn’t just go to sleep and stay asleep (not good to miss gigs).

It took me a while to get used to it, but now I nap like a pro.

It is one of the best things I ever learned to do.

People should do this because…?

It is the perfect way to make sure your body is getting the rest it needs.

The human body’s natural rhythm means almost all of us feel the need to sleep in the afternoon – usually between 1-3 pm but it can vary depending on whether you are a morning person or an evening person.

If you go with the flow, rather than resist the urge to nap, then you are responding to your body’s needs, giving it the chance to rest and repair, therefore helping boost your immunity and well-being.

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.

These are some of the known benefits of napping in the afternoon:

  • Improves memory
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Calms nerves
  • Boosts productivity
  • Enhances creativity
  • Boosts willpower

Here are some other tips for getting better sleep.

How do you do it?

Here is how I do it:

I get changed into my nightclothes, shut the curtains, and go to bed exactly as I would at night.

If it is bright in the room I use an eye mask.

If you are a first-time napper, it is best to start off using an alarm.

The complaint most first-time nappers make is that if they go to sleep they will sleep too much and/or feel groggy when they wake up.

The best way I have found to get around this is set your alarm for around 50 mins.

Only go for your nap when you are really sleepy, that way you should drop right off.

Assuming it takes 5 mins to drop off, then you should sleep for 40-45 mins which is half of 1.5-hour typical sleep cycle – although a lot of people say 20-30 mins works best for them.

For me personally it seems that 40 minutes is the optimum amount of time to recharge vs over-sleep.

You will probably feel a little groggy when you wake up – that is natural – but it will soon pass.

I find a cup of tea and an extra 10 minutes in bed gathering myself back together helps!

Once I have a nap I find I am completely reset and much more productive during the rest of the day.

Equipment

  • Comfy sofa or bed
  • Nice soft pillow
  • Eye mask if you are light-sensitive

Links to other stuffer pages

Learn how to sleep better – 21 tried & tested tips from an ex-insomniac

Create a spa experience at home

Links to other articles on the web

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/napping

https://www.treehugger.com/health/7-surprising-benefits-afternoon-nap.html

Links to other videos on the web

Links to apps

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/power-nap-app-best-napping-timer-for-naps-relaxing/id866001468

Links to books

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