When we were kiddie-winks all we were doing was fighting our mandatory naptimes and assigned bedtimes. And nowadays, we just can’t help but notice how big those bags under our eyes have gotten. Ah, adulthood, you are a treat.
Whether it is a late-night study sesh, one too many wines, or an early morning meeting, we are often left with a serious sleep deficit. And, despite the bad reputation that napping has received over the years, we’ve come to the realisation: it’s pretty damn amazing.
With #science on the naps side, here at The Urban List, we are firm believers in napping and the secret art behind it. In fact, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Napoleon, Eleanor Roosevelt and Emmy Rossum are just some of the people known to value a good nap. However, a good nap isn’t as simple as it sounds... here are four things you need to know about the secret art of napping.
#1 Napping Technique
You may not have realised, but napping is somewhat of an art form. Regular nap-takers are aware that you must tread with caution, as heading off for a quick snooze can make you feel a whole lot worse than you felt to begin with. In fact, some health professionals say that a 30-minute nap will cause “sleep inertia” and will make you feel terrible. The length of your snooze time is seriously important and, depending on your exhaustion level and your circumstances, different lengths can offer differing benefits.
Feelin’ forgetful? six-minute naps are shown to boost your memory.
10-minute naps are best for enhancing your ability to focus.
The classic 20-minute power nap holds a special place in our hearts and will improve your alertness.
Lastly, a slow-wave sleep nap (crossing over into just having a sleep midday), is 60-minutes and helps the cognitive memory. This will assist your ability to quickly remember facts and faces. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt was known for having naps before giving speeches!
#2 Beauty Sleep Is Beneficial
Children are guaranteed naptime to avoid crankiness and we can’t help but envy them! Hitting the hay really does hold its own magic power, we mean duh, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason. The thing is when a nap has been taken with proper precautions and to the correct length (see #1), it is beneficial to both your mental and physical wellbeing. Memory and mood improve and productivity in your brain increases. We are so aware that life can be one tough ride, and sometimes stress and exhaustion take over, so we say nap because it’s good for your brain #science.
#3 Weird And Wonderful Nap Tips
People have different napping preferences. In fact, Albert Einstein swore by holding a pencil while drifting off before his naps, his pencil would drop, and that meant it was time to wake up. Another tip is to nap between the magic hours of 1-4pm. This means you can fight off that after lunch, midday blues and hit your afternoon rejuvenated. Lastly, coffee. It sounds completely bizarre and counterproductive, but word on the street is that it works like a charm. Caffeine takes 20-25 minutes to kick in, so supposedly you can nap and wake up when it does so! We say each to their own, and recommend trying out different styles until you figure out what works for you. You’ll be in your true napping groove in no time.
#4 Caution Is Key
Before you eagerly head off to dreamland, we must issue a word of caution. As much as we truly appreciate the awesomeness and relieving magic that is “the nap”, sleeping is for night time. We know, duh, buuuut if napping is your go-to way to be recharged, you must be careful that it doesn’t interfere with your night-time slumber. We’re all for a good energy boost, but, we ain’t about the sloth life.