How To Take A Nap: A Guide To Healthy Napping

Let’s face it: sometimes, 8 hours just isn’t enough. Between work, social lives and personal time, our bedtime routines simply can’t cut it. This is where the power of a good nap comes into play. 

Of course, it’s important to remember that there are many different views on naps, with some researchers believing them to be linked to improper sleep patterns and actually increasing overall fatigue. But, for the most part, we can’t help when we’re tired, so a nap sometimes becomes a common part of our lives.

There’s a lot of advice out there around how to take the perfect nap, with many articles pointing towards duration as the deciding factor. But, are there other variables at stake? 

Why Do I Need A Nap Every Day?

How To Take A Nap: A Guide To Healthy Napping

Are you struggling with taking 2-hour naps every day? It’s a tricky situation, as our level of tiredness tends to dictate whether we need to sleep. 

When we’re tired, we sleep. This usually ends up around the late evening, but tiredness can hit as early as the afternoon. The reasons for tiredness are varied. Late shifts at work, childcare, noise pollution and some underlying health conditions all severely impact our sleep schedules. 

In this circumstance, many of us take a quick one or two-hour nap to try and give an energy boost. If not done correctly, these naps can leave us feeling worse afterwards. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that can be broken by taking a healthy nap.

So, what exactly is a healthy nap, and how do you take one?

What Is A Healthy Nap?

A healthy nap is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a nap that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day, as opposed to the more undesired side effects that some of us may be used to. 

There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of napping, but when it’s hard to determine exactly how to have a great nap every time, they start to feel unattainable despite our best efforts. If you’re struggling with your napping routine, here’s a quick guide on taking a healthy nap:

Get Comfy

If you feel yourself dozing in and out of consciousness, the temptation can be to just let the nap kick in and stay along for the ride. Stages like this often hit when we’re curled up on the sofa watching TV in positions that are inexplicably ‘comfy’. 

Then, the time finally comes and you drift off into a quick snooze, only to find that when you wake up, you have constant pain in your neck, back or muscles. This is caused by poor posture and is something that can be easily fixed by getting up and making yourself comfortable. 

There’s no secret sauce here, just do as you would at night time and make sure your head and neck are properly supported before your nap. Sofa beds are excellent for this, giving the ability to move from a traditional sofa to a fully-fledged bed in mere seconds.

Cut the Duration

Despite the mountain of advice that exists around the perfect nap length, there is such a thing as a nap that’s too long. We’re all different and that includes our body’s napping preferences, so be sure to take notes on which nap durations work best for you.

We advise you to try different things before arriving at a conclusion. Start at 2 hours and slowly work your way down. Eventually, you’ll wake up from your nap feeling energised and those groggy feelings will soon be a distant memory.
Read more: How Long Is the Ideal Nap?

Experiment With Timings

Much like the duration of our naps, there’s also room for experimentation when it comes to the time of day our naps take place. Some people need a  morning snooze before tackling the day, others feel a bit of a mid-day lull that can only be eased with some shut-eye. 

To find your optimal nap time, try sleeping at multiple points in the day across a week. You’ll soon be able to tell which times work best for your routine and lifestyle.

Try, And Try Again

This point may sound odd, but a good nap is something that takes time to cultivate. Yes, there will be setbacks through your journey towards a healthy nap, but try to not let that put you off. 

It’s important to keep going, as doing so can really help you solidify a napping routine that is effective on a long-term basis as opposed to just now and then.

Don’t Force Things

Picture the situation: you’re studying but your eyes are fighting to stay open. Should you take a quick 30-minute nap, or nap as long as you can?

It’s a big dilemma, and one that isn’t often met strategically. Despite all of us going through sleep cycles at night, the specific time that we enter them varies greatly from person to person. So, if your ideal nap length is more than an hour, don’t try to compress things into just half an hour.

In light of this, we recommend allowing your body all the time it needs to go through a full REM cycle – your body will thank you for it afterwards.

Find Your Better Night’s Sleep

Let’s face it, we’re all very different. Despite this, many people tackle sleep in much the same way. The result of this is improper sleeping schedules, impacted wellbeing and sometimes even physical pain.

It’s important to pay great attention to your napping routine, especially if you’re a frequent napper yourself. Keep yourself calm and comfortable during your next nap with a comfortable new mattress or bed frame from Mattressman. We have thousands of makes and models in stock, with delivery available as soon as the next working day.