When you’re having a crazy day, a power nap can make all the difference. But if you usually wake up feeling cranky, you’re doing it wrong. It’s time to learn the fine art of napping.
If You Have 10 Minutes
We’re talking about a quick recharge here. According to a Flinders University study, even a ten-minute snooze will help you feel more alert and improve your cognitive performance. But don’t change into PJs. Instead, lie on your bed or couch fully clothed, with a blanket over you. Keep the shades open to let some natural light stream in—it’ll be easier to wake up again if the room isn’t pitch black. Even if you don’t fall asleep, just lying quietly with your eyes closed should be enough to give you a little boost.
If You Have 20 Minutes
Try this genius trick called a “caffeine nap.” Right before you lie down, quickly drink a cup of coffee. Caffeine usually takes half an hour to fully kick in. So if you time it right and set your alarm for 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, alert and, well, caffeinated.
If You Have an Hour
Here’s where things start to get tricky: The longer you sleep, the more likely it is that the dreaded grogginess will set in. Try the phone app Pzizz to keep your nap from pulling you into the depths of REM sleep. Pop in your headphones and listen to binaural tones customized to the length of your sleep. It’s designed to help you drift off, then gradually wake back up again when your nap is over.
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