Did you know that just 20 minutes could improve your mood, alertness, and performance?
Tons of evidence suggest that napping in the middle of the day reduces sleepiness, increases alertness, improves mood (really!), and boosts performance (even curled up under your desk - but especially on a mattress customized to your individual body). But have you ever woken up from a nap and felt groggy the rest of the day? Worried that napping will prevent you from falling asleep at night? Well, you're in luck: Kala Sleep (*cough*30+ years of sleep research*cough*) has the answers.
Tons of evidence suggest that napping in the middle of the day reduces sleepiness, increases alertness, improves mood (really!), and boosts performance.
Of course, sleep is tricky - what works best differs from person to person, depending on the time of day, whether you got enough sleep the night before, and whatever else is going on in your body. BUT assuming you're pre-retirement-age, healthy-ish, and don't have other sleep disorders (we'll get into those later), here's your 3 Step Guide To Being Super Productive and Happy (through napping, obviously).
1. Nap when you feel tired.
For most people this is after lunch (2-4pm) but if you're an early morning person and hit your "midday slump" before lunch, nap then. Don't nap after 5pm, but a brief nap in the middle of the day shouldn't have any effect on your nighttime sleep.
2. Spend 10-15 minutes asleep.
So if it takes you 5-10 min to fall asleep, set your alarm for 20 min. DO NOT spend more than 20 minutes asleep - this is when grogginess sets in.
3. Nap regularly.
A study of nearly 24,000 people* found that people who napped regularly were 37% less likely to suffer heart-problem-related deaths (that is HUGE).
BOOM. Afternoon productivity (and longer, healthier life), here you come.
*Naska A, Oikonomou E, Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Trichopoulos D. Siesta in healthy adults and coronary mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med 2007; 167:296-301.