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Consider a Power Nap for Better Health

Do you sometimes get a bit sleepy at your desk or job in the early or mid-afternoon? Find yourself reaching for that coffee or energy drink after lunch to help you make it through the day? Do you struggle with a lack of energy and concentration some afternoons?

This article provides an overview of napping, the healing benefits from napping, famous nappers in our history, and strategies for napping successfully.

Naps are a controversial subject, depending on who you're talking with... but my focus here is on health -- and occasional afternoon naps (especially as you start to feel groggy from your lunch) can do wonders for you. Studies show that taking a short power nap (10-20 minutes) in the mid-afternoon may be good for your brain.

Seems like years ago the term Power Nap was a thing, and guess what? It still should be! A short afternoon nap can restore and refresh you when experiencing a natural decline in energy and wakefulness.

Yes, there is a stigma about napping that goes all the way to childhood when many of us hated to be put down for an afternoon nap. And the always-on American work culture typically frowns on naps as well, but naps offer so many benefits for self-improvement and performance.

Finally, as with much in our lives, we must remember the importance of self-care and giving ourselves permission for healing and getting refreshed -- and an afternoon nap may be the self-care you need. Just remember to give yourself that permission and go into the nap looking forward to some peace, calm, and rest before you have to jump back into the rest of your work day.


Benefits of Napping

Studies showcase a myriad of benefits from napping, including:
  • Reduced stress and fatigue
  • Boost in emotional stability
  • Better mood
  • Increased alertness
  • Stronger focus and attention, learning ability
  • Improved creativity and performance


Famous Nappers

Not sure that happing is best for you? Look at some of these famous nappers:
  • Albert Einstein
  • Winston Churchill
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Johannes Brahms
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Thomas Edison
  • Salvador Dali
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger


Napping Strategies

If you're working from home, then taking a nap is a pretty simple process of heading to the sofa or your bed, but at the office, it can be trickier -- and you may have to use your car for your nap.

Still, the napping strategy remains the same:

  • Nap no later than mid-afternoon (between 2 and 3 pm) so that you don't disrupt your sleep cycle
  • Find a quiet, cool area with comfortable chair, sofa, rug
  • Consider ear plugs if there is too much ambient noise (or a white noise app if it's too quiet)
  • Consider a mask or fabric covering for your eyes, if you can't control the lighting
  • Set a wake-up timer for the ideal nap time (adding a few minutes if you have trouble falling asleep)
  • If you still want that cup of coffee, drink it right before your nap and the caffeine should kick in right about the time you are waking up, helping with additional clarity and energy


Final Thoughts on Napping for Better Health

Napping is not for everyone, so it's okay if you choose not to take naps -- or are unable to nap.

Naps can be a great tool, but should not be something you do daily. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, then that should be your first avenue of research -- so you can attempt to fix whatever is causing your poor sleep.

If you are against napping or are afraid you will become dependent on napping, another alternative for a brain and wakefulness boost is to take a short walk outside -- ideally in a local park. The combination of sun, walking, and nature should be enough to revitalize you for the rest of the day.


Additional Napping and Sleep Resources


EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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