July 23, 2024

#7 #NapHack

Who’s ready to uplevel their nap game?   

It might sound wacky, but in this day and age of productivity hacks, power napping is a hot topic. Between full-time jobs, side-hustles, family responsibilities and basic self-care gobbling up every waking hour of our days, spreading ourselves effectively across all of our daily duties is flat out exhausting. Something is bound to get a “less than stellar” effort. Never more so than in today’s wired world…where productivity is king and checking off all of our boxes every day has become an unnerving obsession.

Much like our phones and even our cars, we, us humans, need to plug in and power up for optimal performance too.  Enter the latest wrinkle to napping…the Caffeine Nap. What’s this now? Caffeine nap? That kinda doesn’t make sense you say? Oh, but it does. Think of it as a twist on the traditional 20 minute power nap (long a secret of hard-chargers everywhere) that allows you to double down on your mid-afternoon recharge. It’s a great productivity tip at work and does wonders if you tend to become drowsy on a long commute.

Here’s why it’s so effective:

The 20 minute time frame is the key. The goal of the traditional power nap is to steal away for a quick refresh, but to wake up before the body falls into a deeper REM cycle of sleep. Much more than 20 minutes and the body tends to wake more groggy than energized, making you feel more like snuggling in for some full-on zzzz’s than jumping up to get about your next batch of tasks.

At the same time, it takes about 20 minutes for your body chemistry to respond to the effects of caffeine. By taking that 20 minute respite immediately after consumption, the stimulant effect kicks in just as you’re waking up. Not only will you feel revived from your power nap, but the caffeine boost will be hitting at the same time. And voila! You’ll pass right by revived to refreshed, rejuvenated and re-loaded for whatever might be next in your day.  Ready to give it a go?

Here’s how to do it:

1️⃣  Find an environment that’s suitable to take a nap…somewhere quiet, where you won’t be disturbed. Comfortable, but not your bed.  Noise canceling headphones or earbuds help complete your temporary cocoon.  

2️⃣  Consume your caffeine (about 80- 100mg) fairly quickly.  If you don’t drink coffee, an herbal tea will also do the trick. Avoid soda and energy drinks as the sugary rush may prevent you from napping altogether.

3️⃣  Set an alarm for 20 minutes.  This is important because you want to time your wake up before you enter into that deep REM sleep and just as the caffeine begins to take effect.

4️⃣  Don’t delay. Kick off your shoes and cue up some soft music or nature sounds.  Decompress with a few deeeeep breaths (in through the nose and out through the mouth) to soften your body and settle into a nice snooze. Allow thoughts to come and go without chasing after them. Just remain focused on your breath.  Relax and enjoy your short time away…

…then wake up and get after it!