How to Get Good at Naps

Nothing is more gratifying than a good nap after a boring day of online learning. When done right, naps can increase your alertness and help us get through the day, especially when you’re feel sleep-deprived. However, I realized that some people (myself included) have different opinions on naps. After taking a closer look, I learned that there are 2 main reasons to dislike naps: sleep inertia, the feeling of grogginess that comes from waking up, and an inability to fall asleep in the first place. So in this post, I’m going to take you through all the steps to proper nap technique.

First off, Timing. Napping during specific times in the day is essential in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. For people sleeping typical hours, rising and falling with the sun, 2-4 pm make for the most practical nap times. While it works with your body’s circadian rhythm, our internal clocks that regulate sleepiness and alertness, it also falls right on the time when school ends.

Another important step is the length of your naps. A common mistake people make is sleeping for too long. Your body treats any nap over an hour like an attempt at sleep. So when your alarm goes off and you have to force yourself out of bed, you’re dangling the carrot in front of your own body. This causes sleep inertia to take effect, and cause some trademark grogginess. 20-30 minutes are all you need to get refreshed and continue your today.

Finally, there are a few alternate methods to a good nap. For the best nap results typically you’d want to sit down, but if you’re napping for less than half an hour, sitting with your legs up is totally fine. Long-term (as in 2-3 hour) naps are useful too if you want to stay awake for a night shift or an all-nighter. Resting yourself before your body has to fight against its circadian rhythm can be very useful.

Hopefully with a few changes in technique I can convince a few anti-nappers to enjoy one of the greatest experiences that the day can offer, or to help fellow enthusiasts enjoy our favorite pastime even more.