Happy National Napping Day! Although I celebrate this day, well, everyday, today we’re going to delve into the dos and don’ts of napping.

If you’re as tired as I usually am, then you’ve probably napped once or twice (or a thousand times) before in your life. Sometimes, it’s probably the greatest decision you’ve ever made, and you wake up feeling 100 per cent. But other times, you wake up so tired that 5 p.m. seems like a reasonable time to go to bed for good. Why the discrepancy?

Because napping is an art. There are strict dos and don’ts. If you nap carelessly, you will pay the price. Here are the rules:

DOS:

  • Nap in the afternoon only: Between 1-3 p.m. specifically
  • Keep it brief: Long naps are the reason you wake up more tired and groggy than before – keep it to 10-15 minutes and it should do the trick (even if you have to set four different alarms one minute apart… There’s no shame).
  • Turn the temperature down and the lights off: This will make you fall asleep quicker and result in a more fulfilling nap.
  • Nap at the same time daily: If you’re going to make a habit of naps, do them at the same time to get your body into routine.

DON’TS:

  • Nap on an empty stomach: Empty stomachs are never good, but particularly so when you’re trying to nap. Nothing will keep you awake more than that constant inner rumble and thoughts of triple layer nachos.
  • Take a sleeping pill: This will throw off any attempt to keep it short, and ultimately throw off your sleep routine for the whole day.
  • Nap when it’s dark out: Nothing is worse than having to get out of bed when the sun has gone down – your brain and body want to stay asleep no matter how many assignments or projects you have due.
  • Power through it: Take the 10-15 minute nap instead of ignoring the fatigue – if you’re that tired, you won’t be productive no matter how hard you try.

As always, happy napping everyone!

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