takinganapIt’s 3:00 pm and you feel your thoughts start to drift from your work to your bed at home. While you may be jealously looking around at your coworkers and assuming they don’t experience the same afternoon lull the truth is they’re probably powering through it too. Cortisol production, which gives us our day/night sleep schedule as humans, naturally dips during the early afternoon leaving us feeling a little drowsy. Stimulants like coffee or tea can help but over consumption may leave you feeling a little jittery or on edge. Thankfully there is a great natural alternative to coffee or tea to combat the early afternoon doldrums – the aptly named power nap!

Power napping is a short nap, 30 minutes or less, that’s intended to give you just enough sleep to re-energize your brain. Some benefits of power napping include better focus, feeling refreshed, improved mood and better stamina. By sleeping less than 30 minutes you prevent your brain from entering into deeper REM (rapid eye movement) cycles. If you enter into a REM cycle and disrupt it then you may awaken feeling less refreshed than before. Taking a power nap is easy; here are the important details and steps:

1. Choose a good spot. If you’re at work and can’t safely nap in your office consider taking a nap in your car on your lunch break. Ideally you want somewhere free of distractions and as dark as possible.

2. Set an alarm! Make sure you’re sleeping no longer than 30 minutes. Setting an alarm on your phone is a great way to make sure you don’t miss your wake up call.

3. Don’t get up until your alarm goes off. Even non-sleep dozing can be beneficial. Studies have shown that non-sleep dozing still clears the adenosine from your brain. Adenosine is produced in the brain during waking hours and is responsible for the feeling of sleepiness that helps us fall asleep.

Don’t give up! Just like anything else, power napping takes a little practice. If you aren’t used to falling asleep in the middle of the day for a short period, it may take your body some time to get used to the process. Eventually you should be able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for the majority of your 30 minute time window.  Take the day off.. take a nap with a doctor’s note at fakedoctorsnotetips.com.