Top tips for making the most of a power nap

Do you find your mind drifting and your eyes getting heavier during an afternoon slump sat at your desk?  Whether you’re nodding off at your desk or just feeling your energy levels dip and struggling to concentrate, taking a few minutes out for a power nap can make you more alert and productive and is something that I do on a regular basis.

But, powers naps only work if you do it correctly.  Follow these tips to make the most of your power nap to wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world again.

  1. Turn off distractions

After finding a good place to nap, you need to make sure you will be free of all distractions.  Turn off your mobile (yes, it’s ok – people will wait for you to respond for 20 minutes!).  Put your laptop into sleep mode and turn off the volume on your tablet or iPad to stop the noise of notifications coming through.

If there is a lot of noise coming from outside or elsewhere, pop on some noise cancelling headphones or use earplugs.  You can also pop on your headphones and listen to some calming, relaxing music or download a meditation app and listen to that.

  1. Grab a coffee

Really?  Yes, as counter-productive as it sounds, by having a shot of caffeine you will wake up feeling more alert.  The caffeine won’t kick in immediately as it takes a time to be absorbed but will help give you that kick when you awaken.

  1. Set an alarm

This is a power nap and not an afternoon siesta so set your alarm for 20 minutes.  Without an alarm, you may end up sleeping for an hour or more which is not what a power nap is about.  Place your alarm across the other side of the room so that you have to get up when it goes off and you are not tempted to hit the snooze button.

  1. Close your eyes and nap

You may find, particularly the first few times you try this, that you can’t fall asleep.  That’s ok.  Just relax your mind and let it wander.  Give it some breathing space to do what it wants and take a break from forced thought.  Don’t stress and worry that your 20 minutes is running out.  Just appreciate that you are having some time out.  As mentioned before, you can try a meditation app to help you calm your mind if you wish.

  1. Wake up

As soon as the alarm goes off, get up.  If you sleep for longer than 20 minutes it becomes counterproductive and can lead to you feeling more tired and sluggish than ever. 

  1. Get physical

To help you awaken and increase your energy, do some stretches followed by something to increase your heart rate such as jogging on the spot or a few jumping jacks.

 

And now you are ready to go.  Give it a try and leave a comment in the box below as to how you get on with taking a power nap.

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