MOST of us love a sneaky nap, helping to keep us refreshed throughout the day.
But many of us are all too familiar with feeling groggy after a nap – luckily experts have revealed how you can perfect your napping skills.
With many of us still working from home following the coronavirus pandemic, a cheeky nap is even easier than before – as many can now walk straight from their desks to their couch or sofa.
Experts at vitamin and nutrition company Vitl say there is an art to getting the best nap possible.
Here they reveal their top tips for making the most of nap time.
Coffee before your nap
This may sound like utter madness, coffee before a nap?
But having a cup of the strong stuff can actually make you feel more alert after your nap.
The experts say: "As caffeine takes a while to kick in, you can time it perfectly in the hope of the caffeine taking effect while you sleep, ready for when you wake up.
"Obviously, this can be a high-risk strategy and should only be considered if you’re quick to fall asleep."
If you struggle to sleep at night, then naps can become an essential part of your daily life.
The experts explained that melatonin's main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles, so it’s important to adequately supplement melatonin for a healthy sleep schedule.
Empty your to-do list
Switching off can be hard work, and working from home has meant that your humble abode may have turned into a gym, office – as well as where you sleep.
In order to help you switch off, make a note of all the ‘to-do’ tasks you have and anything else which may be taking up your brain capacity.
It helps to close the thought loops in the brain and create a healthy environment of feeling relaxed and ready to drift off to the land of nod.
This might sound a little bit intense, but having your own personalised nap kit of things that are essential to you could help you squeeze in that power nap.
Having a nap kit means you will be prepared to nap at any time and place.
Your essentials could include a sleep mask, a neck pillow and some earplugs, to name just a few necessities.
"A good tip is reusing an old sleep kit given on a long-haul flight as this tends to be compact enough to fit in your bag", the experts added.
Set a time
Napping in the middle of the day and early in the afternoon is the best option if you don't want to feel that post-nap sluggishness.
The experts warned: "Taking naps in the early evening may cause you to feel very alert late into the night, which can then disrupt your sleep schedule and circadian rhythm, a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours."
Make sleep a priority
Naps shouldn't be a substitute for a good night's sleep and if you're struggling then you should make your sleep routine a priority.
The experts said: "There are a number of health risks associated with poor sleep and, if you’ve ever experienced poor sleep, it can sometimes feel like the whole world is going to end.
"Ensure your naps are timed well, used when necessary and, above all, making you feel fresh and alert."
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