Napping 101

I have loved to nap for as long as I can remember. I can, and most likely will, fall asleep anywhere and everywhere. When I was younger, I had been known to take a little lay me down in hotel lobbies, the movie theater and any method of transportation (especially cars). By the time I had moved away to school, my love for napping had grown into a daily occurrence. At first I found it difficult to regulate when I would nap and for how long, but over the years I have developed some tricks to avoid sleeping your day away (or through your night class).

So, without further ado, here are some helpful tips on maximizing your next napping experience.

1. Set an alarm.
I am a huge fan of the power nap. Whether it’s during the middle of the day or before I’m about to go out with some friends, a 20 minute power nap always leaves me feeling refreshed and energized. Over the years I have found that setting an alarm two minutes before the end of my nap works best for me. This allows my body time to begin the wake up process and prevents me from sleeping through my final alarm.

2. Keep the lights on.
I am not recommending you leave all the lights on in your house when you nap, but some light is key to waking up. I prefer to leave a bedside lamp on, creating a cozy and warm atmosphere. Also, if you can crash in a cool place that will only enhance your sleeping experience. In the winter months I like to leave the window open a little- the cool air is extremely calming for me.

3. Take a caffeine nap.
I prefer tea over coffee but I have gotten into the routine of drinking a cup before I lie down for my nap. It takes a while for the body to feel the effects of coffee, making it the perfect before nap beverage. Not only will you feel awake and rejuvenated thanks to the sleep, but the coffee will help fuel your good mood, making it last for the rest of the day.

4. Avoid napping after 4pm.
I am a firm believer in this philosophy. I often find if my naps are taken too early in the evening it is hard for me to sleep later that night. If you’re suffering from staying up too late the night before, the best time to nap is between 12 and 4pm. A nap taken during this time window will greatly boost your energy levels.

5. Take a walk instead.
If taking a nap really isn’t an option for you, going for a walk is a great alternative. A walk will get the circulation in your body moving, giving you that much needed burst of energy. Plus, the added absorption of Vitamin D will allow you to keep going strong for hours.

And there you have it, some of my favourite tips and tricks to napping. If anybody needs me, I’ll be curled up on the couch for the next half hour.

What are your favourite napping tricks?

XO, Kristen

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