“There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.” – Ovid
I love to take naps. Most days, however, I’m at work and a nap just isn’t possible. So when I do get the chance, I take it as often as I can.
Although napping is an art where no technique is really necessary, here are some ideas to make nap time one of your favorite pleasures.
Give Up Your Guilt – First and foremost, if you feel guilty about taking a nap in the afternoon, that will impact your enjoyment of the process. Somewhere in life we all started thinking that naps were lazy and only for children. This is false. Naps are one of my most favorite pleasures, and I predict that I am not alone. It’s not that I’m being lazy, I’m simply doing something that I enjoy. And taking breaks and enjoyment are an important part of each day.
Have A Time Limit – In general, a nap-length sleep is somewhere in the 30 minute range, give or take 10 minutes. Much more than that and you may have more than a nap on your hands. I find that if I nap too long, I wake up groggy or I may not be ready to sleep that night. A nap is just a brief foray into dream-land. Keep it such and you will feel more refreshed when you do have to get up.
Pick A Place – Lucky for us, naps are not limited to just our beds. The couch, the floor, a comfy chair or outside are all good choices, but you are really not limited. In a sense, your nap-spot picks you. If you get so comfortable that you just can’t help but fall asleep, that’s the right place. 🙂
Pre-Nap Activity – Speaking of getting comfortable, sometimes naps become spontaneous while we’ve gotten sleepy reading a book or watching TV. My advice – abandon your activity that has gotten you into the nap-mood and fall asleep. There are no rules that say you have to finish whatever you were doing first!
Don’t Try To Fall Asleep – If your nap is not so spontaneous and you’ve laid down simply for a nap’s sake, don’t try too hard to fall asleep. Afternoon sleepiness tends to sneak up on us, but if we try to summon it, the feeling may not come. Simply lie down and close your eyes. Even if you don’t actually fall asleep, resting with your eyes clothes is enjoyable too. Usually, if you don’t think about it that much, sleepiness will come.
Afternoon Light – One of my favorite parts about napping is the way the sunlight looks and feels in the afternoon. Positioning myself near a window gives me full enjoyment of the sun. It’s funny because when we sleep at night, pitch black is usually optimal, but afternoon napping can make great use of the waning late day sunlight.
Don’t Jump Up Right Away – When waking up from a nap, don’t spring into action right away. Give yourself a few minutes to get used to the waking world again. Basking in the glow of your nap is almost as good as falling asleep initially was. 🙂
Do you take naps? Any other ideas to share? Leave them in the comments!