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How to nap effectively

How to nap effectively

Mixing work and sleep may sound like an oxymoron, but afternoon power napping is the new wellness trend revolutionizing the workday. Many wonder about the ideal nap length and ask: how long should I nap? As major sleep enthusiasts, we researched if naps are healthy to come up with these napping tips.

Is a short nap worth it? The science behind napping.

Did you know napping is in our DNA? According to the National Sleep Foundation, 85% of mammal species take short naps throughout the day. Even our caveman ancestors had to nap to stay alert and survive.

Health benefits of napping

According to the research, there are many benefits of napping, but here’s just a few we love:

  • Boosts your memory up to 5x
  • Lowers risk of stroke and diabetes
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Increases productivity and alertness
  • Helps regulate hunger
  • Repairs skin cells faster

How long should I nap?

Napping is a fine art–different nap lengths will give you different results, and napping too little or too much can cause grogginess. Here’s a useful napping guide.

20mins – Power nap

Many wonder how to power nap. A NASA study found that a 26-minute nap would improve performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. We also love that it’s called the “grumpy cat nap” because it will improve your mood.

30mins – Dangerzone

Sleep tip: after your 20-minute nap, don’t hit the snooze button! With just 10 more minutes of sleep, you will start to feel groggy. With any nap longer than 30 minutes, you run the risk of falling into REM sleep (read: dream sleep), which, when interrupted, can cause grogginess for up to 30 minutes after you wake up.

60mins – Memory mastermind

This nap is best for increasing communication skills, focus, memory, faces, and names. However, you will most likely feel groggy afterward, so it’s ideal for a weekend instead of a full workday.

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1hr 30mins – Sunday vibes nap

90 minutes is generally considered the time it takes to have a full sleep cycle, meaning you will most likely avoid sleep inertia. It will improve your emotional and procedural memory, as well as creativity. 

Since many of us don’t have time for a full 90-minute nap during the workday (jealous if you do, though!), we will focus on tips for that 20-minute nap sweet spot.

Tips & tricks for the 20-minute power nap

  1. Drink coffee first: Caffeine from coffee takes about 20 minutes to kick in and will aid in the timing of your nap by avoiding REM sleep and beating grogginess.
  2. Make it dark: Our bodies are wired to the sun, so we need to trick our bodies into thinking it’s nighttime. Our Bamboo Sateen Eyemask is incredibly soft and lightly cushioned to sit softly on your face and block out light for an uninterrupted nap.
  3. Find peace and quiet: Utilize noise-canceling headphones, a white noise app, or a meditation app.
  4. Time it right: The magic hour is anywhere between 1:30PM – 3:30PM (roughly the middle of your day.) The Health Ministry in Japan recommends that all working-age people take a nap in the early afternoon. This was also Winston Churchill’s and Charles Darwin’s preferred nap time.
  5. Temperature control: Wrap yourself up in thermo-regulating bamboo sheets or a comfy duvet to control your temperature and avoid cold hands and feet.
  6. Set the alarm. Don’t overdue the nap, or you won’t get the benefits you need from it. 
  7. Routine: It only takes 21 days to make a habit – time to get snoozing!


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