How to Have the Perfect Daytime Nap
Get Better Napping Results By Following 3 Simple Rules
A mid-afternoon nap can make the difference between being productive the rest of the day or moving through it in a fog. If you’re going to take time out of your day to nap, you want to get the maximum benefits of improved performance, alertness, mood, and creativity out of it. To ensure you make the most of your nap time, follow these three simple rules:
1. How long should I nap?
- If you need to make up for lost sleep, opt to take a 60-90 minute daytime nap. Don’t sleep in – you’ll get better results from a nap.
- Otherwise, keep afternoon naps to a max of 26 minutes
2. What is the perfect nap time?
The best time to take a nap is in the afternoon, between 1 pm and 3 pm. This time block is ideal for combatting post-lunch sleepiness and avoids interfering with you getting a good night-time sleep.
Wake up at 6 am
Nap time 1:30pm
Bedtime 9:30 pm
The optimum nap time depends on when you wake up. For example, if you wake up at 6 am, then 1:30 pm might be the best time to nap.
Wake up at 9 am
Nap time 3 pm
Bedtime 12 am
If you wake up at around 9 am, your recommended nap time would be about 3 pm.
3. What are the ideal conditions for taking a nap?
The ideal conditions for taking a quality nap are a quiet, cool, and dark private place where you won’t be distracted. You’ll also want to be somewhere that you can set an alarm, so you don’t sleep your day away!
Keep it Quiet
- Find a quiet environment so you can relax and quickly fall asleep
- Ensure others you work with (or employ) know that you’ll be napping to avoid disturbance
- Set an alarm, so you wake up at the desired time
- Select a dark room or one with good blinds or curtains that can be closed or wear an eye mask
- A dark environment enables you to fall asleep faster
Keep it Cool, but Stay warm
- The room should be 65-69 degrees Fahrenheit
- Your body temperature drops while asleep
- Always keep a blanket handy
Enjoy a pre-nap cup of coffee
- Sleep researchers recommend drinking a cup of coffee (or other caffeinated beverage) before you take a nap to boost alertness when you wake up.
- Caffeine generally takes 20-30 minutes to go into effect, so if you’re taking a power nap, it will kick in about the same time your alarm goes off.
Ideal nap time
Between 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Ideal nap duration
10-26 minutes or 60-90 minutes
Ideal nap position
Slightly upright to avoid deep sleep.
Ideal nap light
Dim to dark to stimulate melatonin.
Ideal nap temperature
65-69 degrees Fahrenheit