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7 Tips to help you nap like a ZEN Beast

By Marcus Santer

A few years back, if you’d have spoken to me about naps, I’d have said they were for old people.

But now I know better.

Research by NASA, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and studies of peak performers finally convinced me that naps can be a powerful energising tool, regardless of your age.

So I started incorporating them into my daily routine.

It wasn’t long before I was hooked.

And around 2pm, most days, I set my timer for 23 minutes and nap.

Now the truth is, like most things, naps aren’t for everyone.

But the only way to find out if they’re of benefit to you is to try them.

Assuming you can of course.

Because I appreciate if you’re in a job taking a nap might be impossible.

And as valid as napping is, we still to live in a society that frowns upon down-time and applauds energy expenditure.

Still…

Here are 7 tips to help you find out if you can benefit from naps:

1) When’s the best time to nap? The answer depends on you. But based on your body’s natural circadian rhythm (one of your biological clocks) you’ll find somewhere between 2pm and 4pm works best from you.

You’ll need to experiment.

2) How long should I nap for? Again you’re going to have to experiment.

One study in Australia demonstrated how a 10 minute afternoon nap was enough for the participants to recover from a bad nights sleep. Though in my experience of working with others the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes.

Experiment to find what works best for you.

Here’s a couple of additional notes for you to consider…

3) What is a nap? I’ve found a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about naps. Expecting them to be like a mini 8 hour sleep. But that’s simply not possible because there are 4 stages in night-time sleep and it usually takes around 90 minutes for you to cycle through them.

So a 20 minute nap isn’t going to be the same is it?

No, Marcus it isn’t.

My experience of napping usually goes something like this:

And then my alarm goes off.

Sometimes I’ll get straight up and get back to work, but most times I give myself a few minutes to allow myself to come back fully to the here and now.

Which leads nicely into…

4) Best things to do after a nap? After a bit of nap practice, when you start to get good at it. You’ll probably find you need a bit of recovery time.

It’s best to focus on simple tasks straight after a nap.

Give it an hour or so before you start tackle more complicated jobs for best results.

5) Where to nap? I used to take a nap in bed. But I found I’d get too comfy and not wont to get up again once my alarm went off.

Now I nap on a rug on the floor with a bolster from the sofa to support my head.

I’ve tried napping upright, but personally I prefer laying down.

Experiment and find what works best for you.

6) Remember, napping is not a substitute for sleep – Whilst naps can and do help to negate the effects of a bad nights sleep, that’s not what they’re for.

They’re there to help your body and mind take time out naturally when it needs to. Just like the changing of the seasons and the tides of the sea, your body has its own natural ebbs and flows.

But…

7) Listen up… Napping isn’t for everyone – Not everyone gets worthwhile benefits from regular napping.

It’s estimated that only 40% of people are natural nappers who feel the need for and benefit from a snooze.

But the only way you’re going to find out if you’re one of them…

Is to experiment – if your lifestyle allows it.

There you go, 7 tips to help you nap like a ZEN Beast =)

For everything you could ever want to know about napping and getting fantastic sleep…

Check out ==> The 28 Day Sleep Solution <== Bye for now Marcus