The science is in—but some people still fear that taking a quick nap during the day will mean they can’t sleep well at night. Not true! As we age, we need to think about our energy in a different way. Power naps are the answer!
In fact, the length of your nap and the type of sleep you get helps determine many brain-boosting benefits. A 20 to 30-minute power nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills, plus it helps boost memory and enhance creativity. (Warning: if you nap longer than 30 minutes, you’ll likely feel sluggish, groggy, and more tired than before.)
Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.*
Think of it more like setting a daily pace that works for you now. When we were all younger, it was full steam ahead. But our bodies have different requirements as we age and taking into account our need for a balance of energy and rest is critical to good health.
Not convinced yet?
Try these 3 quick tips:
Find a quiet place to lie down, mid-afternoon. Before 3pm is ideal.
Set a timer and calm your mind. (Do not look at your mobile device!)
Practice. Yes, you can train your body and brain to rest.
Of course if you have real trouble sleeping at night/insomnia or you’re just not a good napper, then a mini-doze during the day might not be right for you. But if you feel a little tired in the afternoon and want to rest up to rev up, try a daily power nap. ZZZZZZZZZ.
P.S. Sleepjunkies.com suggests a Nappuccino! A “caffeine nap,” or a quick cup of something caffeinated followed by sleep, outperforms both a nap or caffeine independently. Because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, drinking a cup right before a 10- to 20-minute nap means the caffeine will start working just as you wake up, leaving you feeling refreshed and alert.
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog.