In the south of Spain they swear by it and the Mexicans have made it into an art form. An afternoon siesta is a way of life during the hot Summer months in many parts of the world. But are afternoon naps a good idea?
Here’s how to do them without them messing with your sleep.
DAY TIME NAPPING - GOOD OR BAD?
The answer is it depends...
SHORT NAPS GOOD, LONG NAPS BAD
The general advice for you catnappers out there is that if you are really exhausted through the day, then a quick nap can restore your energy levels and give you a boost. The key is to keep them short. A short catnap of just 20 minutes has been found by researchers to be enough to enhance alertness and concentration, elevate mood, and sharpen motor skills. Just be sure to keep your nap is less than 40 mins long. Otherwise you’re likely to fall in to a deep sleep and that will affect your sleep later and make you feel foggy when you wake up. When it comes to napping - shorter is better.
LONG DAY AHEAD? TRY A COFFEE NAP
If your energy is flagging and you have a long day ahead then it might be worth trying a coffee nap. Scientists have proved that having a strong coffee just before having a short (15minute snooze) amplifies the energy boosting effect of both sleep and caffeine. It sounds counter intuitive to drink coffee before trying to sleep but caffeine takes around 40-45minutes to hit your bloodstream. Drink down a strong coffee, then set an alarm for 20minutes time. That gives you 5mins to get comfy and drop off and 15minutes to snooze. When the alarm wakes you you might feel a little groggy still but the caffeine will soon kick in and the end result of the sleep + caffeine is a higher energy boost that last longer that either just a coffee or a nap on their own would do.
Want to more about the science of coffee naps? Read this...