What's the secret to amazing naps? - Barking up the wrong tree
Eric Barker stashed this in Sleep!
Here are 5 ways to improve your naps:
- If you're a morning person, the best time to nap is around 1 or 1:30PM. If you're a night owl, nap later, around 2:30 or 3PM.
- The best naps are under 45 mins or 90-120 mins. Anything in between is likely to give you that groggy feeling.
- Naps don't mean you're lazy: A NASA study showed that in-flight naps improved subsequent performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%.
- To make sure you're productive after your nap drink a cup of coffee right before laying down. Caffeine takes about 20-30 minutes to kick in.
- No nap is too short: A 2008 study showed that even a nap of a few minutes provided benefits. Just anticipating a nap lowers blood pressure.
Keep in mind that 10 minutes is the best nap length.
Naps are not for the lazy, they're for the productive:
- Naps increase alertness and performance on the job.
- They enhance learning ability.
Across the board, sleep is vital:
- Being tired actually makes it harder to be happy.
- Lack of sleep = more likely to get sick.
- "Sleeping on it" does improve decision making.
- Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically.
Napping is something we can practice every day, right?
Definitely. Workplaces would be more productive if napping wasn't stigmatized. Naptime isn't just for pre-school.
Google has napping pods. That struck me as very enlightened.
I wonder how much those cost and if there's liability associated with it.
10 minutes is the best nap length.
I've had days where I sat there trying to nap for 10 minutes, and the 10 minutes had passed before I managed to catch a single Z.
Me too. :)
I'm thinking that the 10 minutes of downtime still has value, even without any winks.
Just spend that time monitoring your breathing. Congratulations, you just meditated for 10 minutes. :)
Meditation is just sleeping with monitored breathing. :)
The Le Corbusier Chaise in flat black leather -- http://www.cassinausa.com/corbusier.html -- is beautiful, looks appropriate in an office, but is comfy enough to induce drooling blackouts. To this I add earplugs, but no eye cover, and keep it near a window to prevent circadian confusion. Works well. They're expensive, so buy used.
Bill, thanks for the tip. For now, the office couch will do, but in the future I will remember to come back to your recommendation.
The weird thing about buying used is that, if cost of ownership is defined as the difference between purchase price and eventual sale price, then fantastic used stuff can be incredibly cheap. But I digress.
I keep a cot in my office specifically for 10 minute naps. It's not fancy, but it works:
Here's what I do:
1) Work until I feel sleepy or tired.
2) Set a timer for 20 minutes.
3) Close the door, turn off the lights, lie down.
4) Meditate until I fall asleep.
I usually wake up after 9-11 minutes. I set the timer so that I don't accidentally oversleep--this happened to me once, and it wrecked my entire schedule.
I probably nap 3-4 times per week.
Chris, that cot looks very uncomfortable.
Either you're very tired or it's way easier for you to relax than me. :)
I'm a gifted sleeper. I can sleep on planes, on the floor, I've even slept standing up under dire circumstances.
You are blessed. I'd take a class to learn such great sleeping skills, Chris! :)
+1 to what Adam said.
Very jealous of your sleeping talent, Chris. How has meditation worked out for you?
Meditation works pretty well for me. I employ a very simple approach: I try to clear my mind, then focus on one word when I breathe in, and one word when I breathe out. My inspiration word is "Love" and my expiration word is "Happiness."
Cool. I just focus my attention on my breathing. When my mind wanders, back to the breath. Much harder than it sounds but once I realized it's kind of like an iPhone game in my brain, it got easier to stick with. :)
I know someone who sits upright and holds a pencil... the pencil falling out of his hand wakes him up from his nap.