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Your Guide to Effective Napping

There are two types of people in the world; there are people who are good at sleep, and those who are jealous of those people. Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep may allude some people as often as a few nights a week. This may not seem like a big deal, but a cumulative lack of sleep wreaks havoc on one’s health. This is where a napping could save the day. Napping may seem like an easy thing to do for some people. It may even seem like a midday luxury for which no one has time. The good news is that you actually can make time for a nap that will help you to rest, relax, and recharge, if you do it right. If you are napping properly, then you can wake up feeling great and ready to finish your day. How exactly does one nap properly?



The timing of your nap is quite important. If you nap later than 3 pm, then you run the risk of interfering with your regular bedtime and getting you oh-so-important sleep at night. For that reason, you will want to make sure to get that nap in sometime prior to mid-afternoon, with a hard deadline of 3 pm. Grabbing a few winks during lunchtime can be ideal.

How Long?

Though it may sound tempting to snooze for a couple of hours, a proper nap is short and sweet. You will want to aim for somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes for your mid-afternoon nap. Author Daniel Pink has written about sleep and coined the term “nappuccino”. This is based on his recommendation to brew and drink a strong cup of coffee prior to your nap. After 20 minutes of rest, that caffeine will help wake you so you can finish the day. Once you wake up, give yourself a moment before returning to any activities that require a fast, sharp response.


The world would probably be a much healthier place if people could nap anywhere they wanted. Since most people require being horizontal in order to nap, napping anywhere is not really an option. Instead, you will want to do your best to ensure that you have created a restful environment for your nap. Preferably, you will find somewhere that is dark, comfortable, and quiet. Thanks to working from home becoming a standard practice for many, this option has become much easier to execute!


Grabbing a quick nap offers many health benefits. It can reduce fatigue and improve relaxation. It has been shown to help improve your mood and increase alertness. It may even lead to improved performance and memory. But most importantly, it will make getting through the rest of your day so much more enjoyable!

A nap may not be right for everyone. However, if you find that you are dragging a little in the late afternoon or that you become sluggish and grumpy late in the day, then a nap may be exactly what is missing from your day. Consider using the above guide to help you snag that restful 20 minutes and finish your day with a bang.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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