Did I get your attention?
I am not talking about taking a nap during working hours but talking about taking a nap during your lunch break.
Now napping is not for everyone, and most can’t relax enough to do it, but I feel like in the last two years, I have mastered how to take a quick 15-minute powernap at least 2-3 times a week. I am no scientist, but I have searched through the internet for the benefits, and I can feel the benefits.
The reasons I nap and scientific reasons according to sleepfoundation.org:
- I enjoy it
- Reduces sleepiness in the afternoon
- Improves my learning and understanding
- Aiding memory formation
- Regulating Emotions
Napping is not for everyone. For some, it can be counterproductive; it can even result in sleeping issues at night. I would suggest not taking a nap anytime after 1:00 pm during work hours. Napping will only work if you are working remotely or have access to a sleeping lounge at work that is private or a car with comfortable seats.
Five Tips on how to take a nap during the day:
1. Plan Ahead
The reason plan ahead is first on my list, is if you don’t plan your naps, you have no business taking extra time during work hours to nap. If you only have 30 minutes for lunch, your nap time needs to be like clockwork. My husband and I once a month, do meal prep for a month of lunches. If you want to nap at lunchtime, you can’t be wasting time thinking about what to cook. I take my lunch out of the freezer in the morning and heat it up in the microwave so that I have enough time to relax.
If interested in the future, comment below and I would be happy to walk you through how we accomplish this meal prep every month.
2. Communicate to your Customers
Whatever industry you work in, you need to communicate your hours of operations to your customers, this includes all your internal customers. If you manage a team, have someone to report to, you need to communicate from 12:00-12:30 you are unavailable and who is covering you. This took months for me to communicate to my team and organization unless something is on fire to not call during lunch. It is important to take this time to rest and relax and step away from work. After months of reinforcing and officially booking it off in my calendar have I have managed to rarely be contacted during this time.
3. Find a sleep-friendly environment
To fall asleep quickly, you need to have a space that should be conducive to napping. Depending on where you are, you might not always have a luxury mattress and pillow. Ensure where ever you are it is dark, cool and quiet. After years of practice of napping, I can even fall asleep in the busiest rooms, however if you are a junior sleeper, you might want to go in a room with the door closed with zero disturbances.
4. Practice Meditation and set aside your worries
Thinking about work stresses will not help you fall asleep faster, if there is anything urgent or pressing you will not be able to nap. These stresses will keep you awake thinking of solutions, if the problem can’t be solved prior to lunch and it can’t be solved that day, you shouldn’t worry about things that can’t be fixed within the hours. These problems will always be around. Try practicing some relaxation exercises, there are so many apps with assisted breathing or yoga techniques. I typically, take the most basic practice of breathing with my apple watch or focusing on every part of my body starting with my toes and allowing them to relax.
**Disclaimer** I practice personal development on a weekly basis and set aside time to focus on the things I control and letting go of the things that I can’t. This includes therapy, church, writing and communicating with my partner. It can be hard to set aside your worries.
5. Set an Alarm
Most of my close peers say it is impossible for them to just nap 10-20 minutes, they need two hours. I believe everyone can use an extra two hours to nap but from my experience, it is when we don’t sleep well at night. When you are napping on your lunch break you absolutely need to set an alarm. When you nap for a short time it will provide a restorative sleep without drowsiness. If you want to feel alert and productive after your nap, don’t sleep past 20 minutes.