Some of us nap every day, while others shifted away from napping permanently when we made the switch from kindergarten to first grade—and forever lost out on that precious daily “nap time.” But is either …
The Dos and Don’ts of Napping
Some of us nap every day, while others shifted away from napping permanently when we made the switch from kindergarten to first grade—and forever lost out on that precious daily “nap time.”
But is either group making the wrong choice? At PMR, we believe in individualized approaches, and napping is no different. While some may benefit greatly from a napping habit, others may be better off sleeping only at night. For more specific tips on proper, healthy napping, read on.
DO take short afternoon naps if you’re experiencing grogginess or lowered alertness. If you notice that your performance throughout the day tends to lag and flag at certain times, then a well-timed nap may be the boost you need. Though may think your work schedule precludes napping, even a very short nap (about ten minutes) can be beneficial. In fact, naps should generally be kept under 30 minutes.
DON’T take naps if you’re experiencing insomnia or other sleeping problems at night. Naps aren’t for everyone—if you’re already having difficulty falling asleep at night, a daytime nap may only worsen the issue.
DO try caffeine naps (if you’re brave enough). Caffeine naps—when you down a cup of coffee before taking a short nap, waking just as the caffeine kicks in fully—can be a great daytime energy booster.
DON’T nap too late in the day. Most sleep experts recommend around 2 to 3 pm as an ideal napping time. Napping after 4 can be problematic, as it may interfere with your nighttime sleep schedule.
DO take naps if your job or profession requires it. Some workers—such as night shift employees or long distance truck drivers—need to stay alert at times when their body is expecting to sleep. Regular napping can help to improve performance and even prevent accidents.
DO create a good napping environment. In order to nap effectively, you need to create a comfortable space. Most people prefer not to nap on their beds, as this may make you feel a bit too comfortable—leading to prolonged deep sleep. Still, you should seek out a quiet space that’s not too bright, with few distractions and enough comfort to allow you to doze off—even if only for a brief period.
For more tips on health and wellness, including good sleeping habits, contact us at PMR today!