Ever since we gave up our naps in preschool, we’ve been gravitating back to a state where we want them again. I wish I could just close my eyes for ten minutes, we think as we sit at a desk and stare at our computers. I think I’m basically making a case for working from home here, where hell will not break past its bounds if you take 25 minutes to implement my professional napping advice.
I was resistant to napping at the beginning of my college career. I have been known to be resistant to intentional breaks taken during the day. Why waste the hours of daylight when there’s so much to be done? But I’ve found a way to rest briefly that doesn’t leave me groggy and helps me power through better.
Here’s how you take a catnap that will refresh you without taking too much of your precious time and will not leave your groggy for the rest of the day. If taken more than 6 hours before bedtime, it probably won’t interfere with your sleep (what do I know, though?)
- Find a quiet place where you can still tell it’s daylight. Don’t trick your body. It’s not night. This is a temporary nap in the middle of the day.
- Use the bathroom. This is a key step to relaxation.
- Set an alarm for 25 minutes. Assure yourself that the alarm is set. Place is in a place where you will hear it when it goes off. Right by your head is usually a good idea.
- Lay down.
- Close your eyes. This is the part where you just take what your body can give you. Don’t force sleep (as if!) or feel like you have to fall asleep quickly. This is about relaxing. If you need to fall asleep, you will.
- When your alarm goes off, sit up right away. Recover from the sleepy-eyed illusion there. You aren’t really quite as tired as you feel in that moment. Give it a minute.
- Resume your normal duties. If you wake up with the munchies (as I always do), eat something with a little protein in it to help get you going.
Now, excuse me. It’s time for my nap.