Power napping can leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I love napping, but I am a very bad power napper. I typically announce to my family that I am going to go rest for 20 minutes and an hour later they are struggling to get me up and I am begging them to leave me alone for "just 20 more minutes!". Apparently I am not alone. Power napping is a learned skill. We can train our bodies to do this and we'll see enormous benefits from it.
According to this article about power napping, it's best to nap in the morning or just after noon. napping in the later afternoon will more likely result in a deep sleep. They also suggest that foods high in calcium and protein promote good napping. Also, find a way to make your room dark, even in the middle of the day. If you teach your body to fall asleep quickly and wake up at your planned time, you'll recognize it as a pattern and it will become natural quite quickly.
If you're curious about the perfect length of nap for your needs, check the table in the above mentioned article. It outlines the results from various nap lengths. The mini-nap for example, is five to twenty minutes long. It increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.
Still not convinced? These 10 Benefits of Power Napping, are pretty compelling. Included are reduced stress, increased cognitive functioning and greater creativity. Napping carries a stigma of weakness or laziness which is entirely false. Great nappers have included Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison. So, next time you're spinning your wheels trying to get through the day, take 20 minutes and grab a power nap. Your body and mind will thank you.