Remember how being forced to take a midday nap was seen as a punishment when we were kids? It’s interesting how we now crave them as we get older. It turns out that naps aren’t just an expensive past-time when every hour of our day needs to be treated like gold; studies have shown that even short naps can increase brain function and improve memory retention!
So how does one NAP? If you’re someone like me and hit the sack expecting to doze off for 30 minutes, but wake up wondering what decade you ended up in, there’s a solution!
According to this article in the Guardian, “A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes yields mostly Stage 2 sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills...Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which enhances creative thinking and boosts sensory processing.” Since our sleep patterns work in cycles, if you force yourself to wake up while you’re in the middle of one, it could leave you feeling disoriented and groggy.
The Guardian suggests that if you need help feeling awake after your short 20 minute nap, opt for a cup of coffee right before your nap since caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in. It’ll help you wake up feeling even more energized and alert! Rather than feel sluggish and tired for the rest of the day trying to force yourself