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Confessions of a serial napper…

By Marcus Santer

napping

I was listening to the Beatles ‘Revolver’ album yesterday whilst washing the dishes when I heard this:

“Everybody seems to think I’m lazy…
I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy.
Running everywhere at such a speed
Until they find there’s no need.”
The Beatles: I’m only sleeping

Released in 1966 I still believe we live in a society that frowns upon down-time and encourages energy expenditure, burn out and overwhelm.

Like somehow these qualities are some kind of badge of honour.

Personally I couldn’t disagree more.

And sales of caffiene loaded ‘energy-drinks’ show many people cope with this overwhelm by jugging down buckets of the stuff.

So what can you do to thrive in the 21st Century?

Well research by NASA, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and studies of peak performers strongly suggests that naps can be a powerful ‘recharge’ tool whatever your age.

A good nap can also reduce frustration and increase emotional control.

Pretty interesting huh?

Now I’m a serial napper and I’ve been napping for years.  And here’s some hints, tips and observations to help you nap like a pro:

  1. It’s not like going to sleep at night – It’s different.  A lot of newbie nappers think their snooze should be like a mini sleep.  My experience is it goes more like this: close eyes, mind wanders, body relaxes, mind relaxes, alarm goes off time to get up and go.
  2. Don’t get too comfy – As you can see in the picture above, I prefer to do my napping on the rug on the floor.  I tried my bed, but frequently found I went ‘too deep’ and felt like crappola after my nap.
  3. Double whammy – Sometimes I’ll drink a cup of coffee before my nap.  I find it takes about 25 minutes for it to ‘hit my system’ and helps me wake up feeling refreshed and energised.
  4. Not for everyone – Few things in this life are for everyone (unlike oxygen).  Some folk don’t get on with napping.  Are you one of them?  There’s only one way to find out…
  5. How long? – Through trial and error I’ve found 25 minutes works best for me.  23 minutes of napping and a couple of minutes transition time (covered next).  Experiment to find out what works best for you and your life situation.  Though keep it under 90 minutes to avoid having a negative influence on your night time sleep.
  6. Transition time – If you’ve had a good nap, you might feel a little groggy and tired when its time to get up again.  There’s is where a couple of minutes of transition time can come in handy.  I find a few long, slow deep breaths, followed by a 10, 9, 8, count down help.  Once I reach zero I get up and get moving.  That groggy feeling disappears quickly once you’re upright and moving.
  7. When’s the best time to nap? That’s something you’ll need to find out for yourself.  But based on the natural body clocks inside you, I’d recommend you practice napping somewhere between 2pm and 4pm and find what works best for you.
  8. Napping is not a substitute for sleep – Yes, a nap can help to negate the effects of a bad nights sleep, but it’s best to view a nap as a simple way to help your body and mind take time out to recharge and destress from your day.
  9. Napping is an art – If you wake half way through your nap feeling fully refreshed and energised, don’t feel you have to stay horizontal for the full duration of your nap.  I frequently get up before my full nap time.  Napping is an art and you only get good at it with practice.

If you’re not a serial napper too, when would now be a good time to try?

It’s simple, direct and effective.

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. I consider napping to be part of a multi-approach to living life full of pep and zest.

With sleep being the 800lb gorilla when it comes to energy.

And if you’d like help getting the kind of sleep that lets you wake up in a morning feeling ready to take on whatever the day has to throw at you…

I recommend you check out my 28 Day Sleep Solution program.

Only available here.