Do you constantly find yourself feeling exhausted in the middle of the day?
Lunchtime is over, you’re getting back to work, and you feel like you simply can’t go on. Just keeping your eyelids open feels like a Herculean task.
Every once in awhile, you might find yourself needing a bit more than just a good night’s sleep.
We’re not talking about the occasional hangover nap on Saturday afternoon (though, no judgments here...we’ve all been there). Neither are we talking about the exhaustion nap you take where you wake up hours later, sure you’re the next Rip Van Winkle.
We’re talking about a regular routine with 10-20 minute naps.
But, are regular naps really possible? You’ve got work meetings, dinner to plan, plans with friends, errands to run, laundry to fold, the dog to walk. It never ends.
From the "too busy" workplace culture to simply having too much going on, it’s hard to find the time every day to devote to midday rest. Still, napping has gained popularity in the last few years as researchers are studying the benefits of napping and finding positive results.
"The more naps you take the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
So if you can find the time, here are a few good excuses for setting a daily nap routine:
Improve Your Focus
Certain studies have suggested that a quick nap can make you more alert. A quick 10, 15, or 20-minute nap can leave you feeling refreshed, with a sharper mind and a renewed ability to focus on little details ― like which client you’re currently talking to.
You really don’t want to mess that one up.
Reduce Stress and Boost Your Mood
From handling emotional or frustrating situations to easing the load of everyday stress, taking a break from the daily grind can reset you: mind, body, and spirit.
Napping for stress relief can also help give you a more positive outlook which is especially important when you have to interact with co-workers you just don’t vibe with.
That little “boost of happy” you get after waking up refreshed could be all it takes to get you through the rest of the day with a skip in your step, regardless of what Judy from accounting said in this morning’s meeting.
Improve Your Memory
While it won’t help you remember where you parked your car — or to put the cap back on the toothpaste — napping can help improve associative memory.
Associative memory is the type of memory you use to link things together — like names and faces so you don’t have to feel quite so awkward when you run into the new guy in your department. Now you can call him Gary instead of “buddy” or “hey you!”
Take that, workplace anxiety.
Bonus points: napping can help you retain new information, too. That means you just might remember to do that last “really important task” your boss piled on top of your already long list of super important tasks.
No science needed there: when you’re asleep, you don’t have to work, or parent, or clean, or do anything other than catch some z’s. That alone is more than reason enough to fit in a nap every once in a while.
Let’s Get to Napping!
Now, naps aren’t for everyone. But, we think it’s worth trying out. Especially if you find yourself running out of steam half-way through the day on a regular basis.
Tip: if you’re having serious trouble sleeping ― like insomnia, for instance ― napping may not be the best solution for you. Sleep doctors suggest napping may interfere with your nighttime sleep, so it may not be the best idea.
The best way to find out if napping is right for you is to simply try it out for yourself.
Carve out a good time near midday when you can easily fit in in your schedule. Hey, they may call it a “lunch break” but there’s no reason you can’t make it a nap break, instead.
If you’re at work, look for a quiet room in the office, or hide out in your car if it’s not too hot. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t over-sleep!
Want to convince your boss it’s cool to nap? Send them this article. Hi, boss! Napping boosts morale and productivity. Signed, Sleep365.
Try it out a few days in a row and see how it goes.
You’ll figure out pretty quickly whether or not it’s your thing.
Even if napping isn’t right for you, there are plenty of health benefits to taking a break and just relaxing for a few minutes, like calming your mind and relaxing your body, helping you take on the rest of the day like the boss you are.
It could also help you get better sleep at night.
Sleep ― or nap ― well.