How and Why You Should Nap

Who loves naps? I would take a nap everyday if I could. The nice thing about working from home some days is that I CAN take a nap, but usually I don’t because I just think of everything else I could be doing with that time. But some days, desperate times call for desperate measures ;)

If you nap, you’ve likely experienced that nap where you pass out, wake up 2 hours later, and still feel tired and groggy. Those are the worst. Dan never naps because he always wants to take long naps – I try to tell him 20-30 minutes is the perfect amount but he says that’s too short. 

So with that being said…let’s talk about some nap tips!

Napping Tips

Napping boosts productivity

Taking a short nap gives your  mind some rest and helps you wake up refreshed and ready to get back to work. In a study done by UC Berkeley, they found that a test group who took a 90-minute nap did much better on tests and were actually able to learn and retain more information than those who did not nap during the day. 

It’s as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It’s just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder.”

Now obviously we can’t all be taking 90 minute naps, but it goes to show that taking a short, power nap on your lunch break could make you more productive for your afternoon work shift.

Short naps are key

According to the Mayo Clinic, 10-30 minute naps are the perfect length. You will wake up refreshed as opposed to groggy. Taking shorter naps will also decrease the chances of it interfering with your sleep at night. The Mayo Clinic also suggests taking naps between 2-3 p.m. I always get the afternoon slump around this time! If you do want to take a longer nap, then go for 90 minutes. This will equal an entire sleep cycle, so you’ll wake up with no grogginess. This graphic from Lifehacker is very helpful!

How Long Should I Nap
Drink coffee before a nap

My roommate actually told me this in college. If you drink coffee before a nap, it takes about 20-30 minutes for the caffeine to kick in, so you’ll wake up from the caffeine, and wake up energized and ready to get back to work.

I visited Google headquarters in NYC a few years ago, and they had this awesome nap pod for their employees. I mean how cool is this?

Google

I’ve seen WeWork coworking spaces with nap areas as well. Companies are starting to see that napping can really boost productivity, as opposed to slogging along with your work half asleep. I remember when I had an internship in college that was about an hour commute. I would go to my car and take a 20 minute nap during my lunch break. I seriously love naps.

In Paraguay, their lunch break is two sometimes three hours, to allow people to go home for lunch and take a “siesta.” Though, their workday ends at 7. Not sure which I would prefer, 9-5(ish) with a one hour lunch, or 8-7 with a 2 hour break in the middle. Probably 9-5 because staying longer would interfere with my gym time ;)

Do you take naps? If you had a nap pod at work, would you use it?

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Comments

  1. I wish I could take naps. I’m in a chronic state of exhaustion. But I always wake up feeling worse, even if it’s a 20-30 min nap!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…A rough Thanksgiving weekend and my latest cake creation!My Profile

  2. Caffeine naps are the BEST. I am a weekend napper–specifically Saturday morning. I typically wake up early like usual and then just laze about and lapse into a nap…. a bit different from running 20 miles like during training!
    My husband is a champion napper, but his father puts us all to shame. As in, falls asleep at red lights, wakes up before they are green. #doctorprobs
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Willpower: A muscle to strengthen #thinkingoutloudMy Profile

  3. I am the QUEEN of naps and I swear by them. 30 min- 1 hour is my favorite length, but I rarely have that time. Naps are my favorite non-guilty pleasure.
    Emily @MyHealthyishLife recently posted…Embracing the UnknownMy Profile

  4. I love naps but I don’t get them often. Wouldn’t it be great if we got siestas like Spain does?
    Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…My Go-To Songs for Workout MotivationMy Profile

  5. I’m a huge napper!! I almost always took a nap in college somewhere between 4-5. Since getting pregnant/having a baby I’m a big fan of getting the Zzzzs whenever I can!
    Kate @KateMovingForward recently posted…Tips for Helping Your Toddler Bruth Their TeethMy Profile

    • I would nap all the time in college too! I work part time now, and the rest of the day is spent working on stuff for my business, so I sometimes give myself a nap break in the middle of the day ;)

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