I'm always amazed by how opposed to napping my three-year-old nephew is. He doesn't realize that soon his napping days will be long gone! As you get older and busier, you get less sleep at night. To make up for it, you can take naps during the day to ensure you still get your beauty rest. But time is always of the essence! So follow these tips to make your naps as effective as possible.
Table of contents:
- timing is everything
- make it a habit
- caffeine nap
- nap on the couch
- try guided meditation
- keep it clean
- keep it moisturized
1 Timing is Everything
Studies show that 1pm to 3pm is the best window for taking a nap. At this time, your melatonin levels rise causing your energy to drop. Since you're sleepier, it will be easier to fall asleep and maximize your rest time. If you take a nap too early, you may not be tired enough and your nap will be a waste of time that doesn't give your body the beauty or energy boost it's craving. Napping too late in the day might disrupt your normal sleep schedule, and you won't be able to sleep well at night.
2 Make It a Habit
Some days you need a nap more than others, but making a habit of napping can make your naps more effective. When you nap only occasionally, you might wake up groggy rather than refreshed. Fit a quick 20 or 30 minute nap into your schedule every day to maximize the benefits of napping.
3 Caffeine Nap
Japanese researchers have found that taking a nap immediately after drinking coffee can make your naps more efficient. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so if you nap right after, the caffeine acts as an internal alarm clock which helps you wake up naturally. Plus, you'll feel doubly refreshed afterward!
4 Nap on the Couch
We are creatures of habit, and our bodies know that. If you nap in bed, your body will think it's time to go to sleep for the night. It might be harder to wake up, and your nap will have the opposite effect than that which you want. So try napping somewhere new—the couch, your car, or even your yoga mat! You'll wake up feeling and looking refreshed.
5 Try Guided Meditation
Some people can fall asleep anytime, any place, with no problem at all. Others, myself included, can usually only sleep at night, and even then don't fall asleep right away. If you fall into the second category, I recommend trying guided meditation. Sure, it will tack on a few minutes to the beginning of your nap time, but it will help you calm down your mind and make napping actually possible. Check out these apps for guided meditation: dailyburn.com
6 Keep It Clean
Just like when you go to sleep at night, you want to take care of your skin before and during your nap. Put your hair up to avoid getting oil on your face. Wash your face before you lie down to wash off half a day's worth of grime. Lastly, if you are using pillows, make sure the pillow cases are clean and preferably satin or silk so that they don't irritate your skin or tangle your hair.
7 Keep It Moisturized
Similarly, to make sure your skin is soft and supple after you wake up, you have to do some work before you go to sleep. Use a toner and moisturizer after you wash your face. You can even turn on your humidifier for the 30 minutes you'll be asleep—more moisture never hurts!
The benefits of being well-rested are endless—brighter eyes, fewer wrinkles, and glowing skin, just to name a few. Day-time naps are especially useful for reenergizing you after work or school and heightening your focus for the rest of the day. How do you make sure your naps get the job done?
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