You know the feeling. It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon and all you want to do is lay down and rest. So you take 15-20 minutes, a half hour, or maybe an hour to sneak in a much-needed cat nap. But instead of waking up- feeling refreshed and ready to kick the rest of the day's butt, you feel even more groggy and sluggish than before. How frustrating! But - we’re here to help make this a thing of the past.
If you are looking for the best way to nap and feel rested, keep reading to learn some tips and tricks from the napping experts!
There are a few ingredients for the optimum nap recipe. The best way to nap and feel rested comes down to timing, duration, and environment for your sweet slumber. Read on for the nap of your dreams! First - we’ll talk about why so many people struggle to reap the benefits naps have to offer.
Why Don’t I Feel Refreshed After My Nap?
First and foremost, why do you need a nap? In some cases, it could be because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. There’s no way to fit in a full, rejuvenating 8 hours of sleep into a short nap during the day. Since naps are typically short lived, you’re going to wake up feeling like you need more sleep…because you do!
If you have trouble sleeping at night, it could be because you're sleeping too much during the day. It may be best to forego nap time and catch up on sleep at night. Naps should not be a replacement for night time sleep - they’re a supplement.
It is possible that you are sleeping too long, drifting off into a deep, dream state causing you to experience sleep inertia, the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that comes with sleeping longer than 20 minutes, taking somewhere between 15-60 minutes for that sleepy fog to clear.
So - What is the Best Way to Nap and Feel Rested?
So…with all that said, what is the best way to nap and actually feel rested? Really it all comes down to timing and setting up the right environment. To really reap the full benefits of naps, you need to make sure you’re not overdoing it - as this can cause you to become groggy. You also need to create an ambiance as we’ll discuss below. First - how long should you nap to feel rested?
How Long Should I Nap to Feel Rested?
Knowing the best way to nap and feel rested starts by understanding the 4 sleep stages.
- Stage 1: This is the first stop once you board the slumber train. It’s short, lasting from 1-7 minutes. It’s very light and easy to be woken up from.
- Stage 2: Buckle up for relaxation! This is the stage where muscles start to relax and body functions slow down, lasting 10-25 minutes.
- Stage 3: It’s not easy waking up in stage 3 because this is the meat and potatoes of sleep life. This is the part where you experience deep and restorative sleep lasting from 20-40 minutes.
- Stage 4: REM sleep. Beautiful REM sleep. Cue the harp-playing cherubs because this is what dreams are made of. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, because your eyes are literally moving rapidly underneath your eyelids! While your eyes are moving your body is temporarily paralyzed and this is the stage of sleep where you might start dreaming. This dreamy stage lasts anywhere from 10-60 minutes.
Ideally, the right amount of time to nap is 20 minutes to experience blissful relaxation without that pesky post-nap fog. On the other hand, an hour and a half allows you to get through all 4 stages, if that’s what you’re into.
But not only does it matter how long you nap, it also matters what time of day you nap. So if you start getting exhausted around 2pm, you might want to fit that nap in before 3 pm, so as not to make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
If you work the graveyard shift, however, taking a nap around 4 pm is good for you to be ready and alert to start work in the evening time.
Don’t forget to set an alarm!
Create the Perfect Napping Environment
The best way to nap and feel rested requires an environment made for napping. The perfect environment entails the right lighting, sounds and cozy furniture.
If you are resting in a room with lots of windows, you might consider hanging black-out curtains to block the light. Or You could use a washcloth to cover your eyes. Saturating it with hot or cold water, then folding it three times, long ways, and putting it in a baggie will make a great rejuvenating eye mask for your tired, strained eyes while also blocking out some of that pesky, bright sunlight. If that sounds like too much work for you, you can find eye masks on the marketplace to achieve the same effect.
Are birds chirping too loud? Will that brook’s babbling never cease? Is there a horn-blaring traffic jam right outside your door? Try some earplugs, or listen to white noise. Alternatively, you can put on some relaxing music that is meditative and hypnotic.
Speaking of meditation, try this simple breathing exercise while you’re laying flat on your back:
- Breath in for 4 counts.
- Hold your breath for 4 counts.
- Breath out for 4 counts.
Doing this will help your body and mind get into that sleepy vibe.
But what is the most important element for the best way to nap and feel rested? This dog bed for humans is like a comfortable, island-nest bed with a built-in, huggable pillow that surrounds the whole thing. It is made of orthopedic, gel-infused memory foam so it’s like sleeping on a cloud. As such, it’s been regarded as one of the best gifts for nappers - so treat yourself or a loved one!
Aroma therapy is also helpful to induce sleepy vibes. You can use lavender essential oil pillow spray on this giant dog bed for humans.
Consider Taking Some Caffeine Before the Nap
It may seem counterproductive to drink coffee right before a nap. Caffeine is supposed to wake you up and keep you alert, right?
It does but it turns out that caffeine when absorbed inside the body, crosses the blood-brain barrier and fits into adenosine receptors. However, if you’re feeling tired, that means adenosine is already present in those receptors in your brain. When you take a nap, that adenosine clears away, making room for the caffeine to work. Have you ever felt tired and drank coffee for a boost but it didn’t work? That’s probably because you need a nap.
It turns out that taking a 20-minute coffee nap is one of the best way to take a nap and feel rested.
Final Thoughts on The Best Way to Nap and Feel Rested
Naps can leave us feeling refreshed and restored or tired, groggy, and drowsy. Your nap needs a plan. The successful nap you fantasize about can be achieved with a little direction and controlling your environment.
We must eliminate light and sound to avoid disturbances. We need a comfortable environment to rest in. The Plufl dog bed for humans offers a level of comfort that makes napping easy. We breathe in four counts, hold four counts, and exhale four counts. We are now comfortable enough to be in our sleepy vibe. We can enjoy what it feels like to sleep on a cloud.With your dog bed for humans and our sleep tips, your naps will go from being your little secret, to your secret weapon. If you want to learn more about napping, check out our article on why you can’t take naps during the day - or, discover the pros and cons of napping in our related blog post.