It’s summer, cut yourself some slack and take a nap. It may be the right time to turn the lights down low, and let yourself go. The National Sleep Foundation thinks so:
“A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep….
Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%….
Sleep experts also recommend that if you feel drowsy when driving, you should immediately pull over to a rest area, drink a caffeinated beverage and take a 20-minute nap.” (The caffeine kicks in after 20 minutes so it can help wake you up!)
Even though, the experts are still weighing in on how long the perfect nap should be, they tend to agree the best time is in the afternoon, between 1 and 4 PM.
I believe one of the key benefits of a nap is the fact that we admit we need or want one and are willing to give ourselves a break. It’s a refreshing form of self-care and a great way to lessen the stress we put on ourselves. And, summer is a great time to discover the nap length and location that is best for you – an hour nap in the sun might be perfect on the weekend while a ten minute snooze at your desk may be just the thing you need on a weekday.
It’s free, it’s fun and you may awaken with a new outlook, increased energy and creativity and be more alert and ready to deal with the details of the day.
To learn more about the art and science of napping click here, here, here and here.
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