Tips for Power Napping to Relieve Stress
The best time of day to take a nap is usually
Hi, I'm Sara Fox here for About.com, and today I'm going to give you some tips for power napping to relieve stress.Serious exhaustion, or even mild fatigue, can leave us cranky, impatient, and slow to react. Rather than depriving ourselves of the sleep we need, thus adding to our stress levels, here are a few things you can do to get some much needed rest. As detailed on About.com's Stress Management site, our bodies need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to function properly and keep stress levels in check.Even with an adequate amount of sleep, most people experience drowsiness in the afternoon, about eight hours after they've been awake. A 15-30 minute nap around this time can reduce stress, increase alertness, and improve cognitive functioning.When power napping, it's important not to lose track of time, as more than 30 minutes may land you in a deeper sleep from which it's difficult to wake. Setting an alarm is the best approach to keep you from overdoing it and potentially disrupting your upcoming night of sleep. Additionally, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon will allow you to get some quick shut-eye if your schedule allows.To really maximize your power napping minutes, a dark, quiet room is the best place to retreat. Blocking out light will help you fall asleep faster and the seclusion will keep your rest from being interrupted. Along the same lines, keeping a blanket nearby can make the experience more comfortable and thus more successful for relieving stress.Just a tip: rigorous scientific evidence for power naps are not definitive. If you don't have time for an actual power nap, or you're uncomfortable napping during the day, 15-30 minutes of meditation can have a restorative effect and gives your body a bit of a rest.Finally, try to power nap regularly on a consistent schedule. The best time of day for our bodies is usually between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., so try to find a window in this range and stick to it once you've started. If you want to shake off your sleepiness and get an energy boost, power naps are the way to go. They give our bodies some much needed rest and come with multiple health benefits, not the least of which is stress reduction.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.