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Raising young kids isn’t kind on your sleep, which is why naps during the day might be unavoidable. However, your naps might feel like they aren’t as adequate as they could be. Taking regular naps is the perfect way to have enough energy to raise your children, but you could be making some mistakes that are keeping you from getting the most out of them.
Here are the benefits of taking a nap:
Napping offers various benefits for including:
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
- Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory
Here are some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of a nap:
Keep It Short
The biggest mistake people make when they nap is that their naps are too long. When you nap, you want to aim for one that’s less than 20 minutes long so that you don’t feel groggy afterward. A 10- to 20-minute nap should do the trick because you’ll typically reach stage 2 sleep, which can help you feel alert afterward. Avoid taking longer naps, because you increase your sleep inertia. However, a 90-minute nap is acceptable because it allows you to get in one full sleeping cycle.
Don’t Nap Late in the Day
Any parent knows that small children don’t care all that much about their sleeping routines, but taking late naps can be just as detrimental as taking naps that are too long. Our next tip on how to get the most out of a nap is to take it early—ideally, before 3 p.m. Napping later than this can disrupt your circadian rhythm when it comes to sleeping at night.
Find a Comfortable Space
The next thing you should try for an effective nap is to find a comfortable space for it. Of course, your bedroom seems like the best bet, but if your mattress is old, then you’ll want to consider replacing it—it can make napping more difficult. A comfortable space should also be dark and cool for the best nap possible.
Drink Coffee Before
Many people make it through the day with caffeine, and you might be wondering how drinking coffee will help you nap better. Well, when you drink coffee before taking a nap, you can boost your energy levels—but it takes time for the caffeine to work. By drinking coffee before taking a short nap, you can wake up feeling more refreshed because the caffeine will hit after you wake up.