For many of us, the idea of a nap only seems to come on a Sunday afternoon, after a long night before, or when our little ones nap too. However, these quick sleeps can prove far more beneficial than you first think. While not everybody might love the idea of napping, those of us who do can expect heightened alertness, a better night’s sleep overall, and hopefully no 3pm lull at work.
Read on for our guide to nailing the perfect nap, and the benefits of napping.
What counts as a nap?
A nap is any short sleep before you go to bed at night – but what’s the optimum length? SleepFoundation recommend adults should aim for about 20 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes to boost alertness without entering deep sleep, where you risk grogginess when you wake up.
If you have ever noticed the 3pm-4pm lull hitting you at work, it might be wise to consider a nap to combat this. Depending on what time you go to bed, it’s important to time your rest accordingly; too late and you risk jeopardising your night’s sleep, too early and you may struggle to drift off. Generally, any time between 12pm-2pm is ideal for most of us.
If you work irregular shift patterns or find yourself having a bad night’s sleep, napping is also recommended to help you get through your day without feeling groggy or distracted. This is especially true if you risk driving, or operating machinery while tired – find a time that will suit you, where you can rest and fully wake up in enough time to work.
Where should I nap?
The big question – should you be resting in bed, on the sofa, or even try to squeeze in 40 winks on your daily commute?
The environment you choose to rest in is crucial to a good nap. As convenient as quick ten-minute sleeps between train station stops can be, you may find yourself struggling to properly rest due to the noise and light - so wherever possible, opt for comfortable, dark surroundings.
For those of us who are at home during the day, napping can become a far easier part of your routine - but don’t fall victim to sleeping where you work. It is important to create a clear separation between your working areas and resting zones where you can promote a good rest at home.
So, how do you make the perfect at-home environment to enjoy the benefits of napping?
Relaxing vs. Napping... Why not do both?
By introducing products and accessories into your naptime routine, you can encourage an even better rest. First things first; scented products. Scents such as chamomile and lavender have proven to help you sleep.
By lighting this luxury candle before you nap (and remembering to blow it out before you do sleep!) you can enjoy opening notes of violet leaf, jasmine and lilac, proven to have calming and tranquillising effects that aid rest. The scent then drifts into the heart notes of Roman chamomile and English and French lavender to create a balanced fragrance that captivates the senses.
If you’re not big on candles, why not consider specific pillows to help you get comfortable? The S8 Body Pillow is the perfect choice if you are napping alone, offering all the appeals of sleeping next to somebody without them physically being there.
We all have different tells when we’re tired – and if yours includes puffy or tired eyes, an eye massager might be the perfect napping accompaniment. Designed to de-puff your eyes, improve blood circulation around your eyes and sinuses, and promote deep relaxation, the likes of the S8 Eye Massager Power Eyes are perfect to help you unwind.
Are you ready to nap?
Finally, once you have napped, remember to give yourself enough time to wake up – especially before returning to any work that requires quick reactions!