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“There Is More Refreshment and Stimulation in a Nap Than in All the Alcohol Ever Distilled” —Ovid

Most of us are so busy all day long that we never think about taking naps. Whenever the urge to lie down occurs to you, you just brush it off and keep doing whatever you need to do. Who has the time for a nap when there’s laundry to be done or business emails to be written?

Quite often, our work also cuts into our sleep at night. Many people don’t get the requisite eight hours of sleep per night. However, sleeping fewer hours can make a person sluggish and drowsy. It prevents them from performing at their full capacity.

So it’s a good idea to try and get as much sleep as you can at night. And if you can’t do this, then at least try to make up for it with a nap during the day, whenever you can fit it in. Here are a few tips to help you take a nap:

Get Cozy

It helps if you try to take a nap in a comfortable place. You can’t just put your head down on your desk and doze off for a while. Most likely, you won’t be able to sleep with your head on a hard surface. So it’s best to lie down on a bed or a sofa, if the latter is big enough to accommodate you.

Cover up with a soft throw if you’re living in a cool climate. If you’re living somewhere warm, make sure the AC is turned up to a comfortable level. No matter what the temperature in your room, it always feels nice and cozy to have a light throw or blanket covering you.

You can also make sure that you’re wearing something comfortable while you try to nap. Don’t attempt a nap in tight work clothing and high heels. If you’re taking a nap after work, change into your pjs. If you’re planning to go back to work after napping, just loosen your clothes a little bit before you start napping.

Light and Sound

Most people can’t doze off when there’s too much light and noise in their surroundings. So if it’s broad daylight, you need to draw the curtains before you try to nap. If the neighbors are listening to music, you’re most likely not going to be able to sleep.

However, it’s easy enough to invest in an eye mask and some earplugs to help you catch some Zs. Get a nice satin mask which won’t irritate your skin. In terms of earplugs, you can get silicone ones or foam ones. The silicone ones are stickier, so they might remain more secure in your ears. However, it’s a good idea to try out both before you pick one.

Sometimes, people feel like they’re getting very disturbed by light and noise when the truth is that they’re anxious in their minds. So think about what’s really bothering you. Is it really worth it getting mad at your neighbors or your kids for the noise they’re making? Doesn’t it make more sense to think about what’s really bothering you and what the solution to it might be?

Sound Machine

Yet another invention that is supposed to help people sleep is a sound machine. It’s just a machine that you turn on when you’re going to sleep and it continues making the same rhythmic sound while you’re sleeping.

A sound machine produces a number of different sounds including white noise, waves, waterfalls, raindrops etc. Try out the different options until you find one that helps you sleep. Keep in mind that a sound that you like may not necessarily help you sleep. For example, you might love the sound of waves but it might be white noise that actually helps you to sleep. So try out the different sounds until you find one that works.

Mattress and Pillow

If you’re trying to take a nap, your mattress and pillow are of paramount importance. You need to invest in a mattress that helps you get a good night’s sleep. You can go with a mattress on the harder side or one on the softer side. The same goes for pillows. Nowadays, you can also get mattresses or pillows which will conform to the shape of your body.

Each person has their unique likes and dislikes. Some might prefer a softer mattress while some might prefer a harder one. It depends on what your body likes and what you’ve grown up using. However, if you have any back problems, you might want to consult your doctor first, before getting a mattress. If you keep waking up with back pain which subsides as the day goes on, you can safely assume that you’re using the wrong mattress for your needs.

How Much Should You Sleep?

If your nap is too short, you’re probably not going to feel too rested after it. But if it’s too long, then you might feel groggy once you wake up and you won’t be able to be productive after that. A twenty-minute nap should be your minimum while a forty-five-minute nap should be your maximum. Any less than twenty minutes and you won’t feel like you’ve rested at all. Any more than forty-five minutes and you’re going to wind up sleepy for the next two hours.

Of course, these are just general guidelines. Everyone’s body is different. So if you aren’t rested enough and need to get some more sleep, then by all means take a longer nap. And if a five or ten-minute power nap does it for you, then go with that.

Other Napping Aids

Sometimes, you feel sleepy and tired but your mind is really awake. So you can’t take a nap. At other times, your body might feel achy, which prevents you from going to sleep. Whether your problem is mental anxiety or physical fatigue, there are a few things you can try that will help you to sleep.

A warm shower often relaxes your body and helps you to doze off for a while. Drinking warm milk or chamomile tea is supposed to be a soporific. There are also sleep meditations which will help you to relax mentally and physically so that you can fall asleep. Even if you don’t end up taking a nap, there’s no harm in doing these things because they will be relaxing for your mind and body.

Listen to Your Body

The best thing you can do for yourself in the long run is to listen to your body. Believe it or not, your body is actually very intelligent and will tell you what you need and when you need it. Any time that you need some guidance, you can stop for a moment and consult your body. Just ask your body how it’s feeling and whether it wants to tell you anything. Then, listen for an answer.

You can also do this process in writing if it doesn’t work inside your mind. Write down the questions you have for your body and then write the responses coming to you. They may look like this:

Me: Are you feeling good physically? Do you need to do something differently?

My Body: I feel ok. I’m glad we ate that salad for lunch but I don’t feel like I’m getting enough sleep. Maybe take a nap after work?

In this way, you can actually get all the feedback you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Your body will be able to tell you what to eat, how much to exercise and anything else that you need to know.

Contact your local Urban Mattress store for more great tips on napping, mattresses and getting the rest you need.