Power Napping Is Not For Lazy People
I power nap almost every day. And I swear I’m no lazy bastard.
In fact, power napping is one of my top productivity advice.
Power Napping Is A Skill
Power napping is hard. Like any skill, it takes practice. I’ve only started being good at it 11 months ago. I do it almost every day now. But before that, I would try at least once per week and I would “fail” most of the time. Actually, even to this day, I still don’t always fall asleep.
A power nap is typically 15–20 minutes long. I personally power nap to give myself an extra 2–3 hours of productive work.
A more powerful alternative is the coffee nap. Basically, you quickly drink a shot of espresso coffee right before your power nap. The caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so right at the same time as you finish your power nap.
I would suggest you don’t try coffee naps until you can do power naps though, for three reasons: 1. Not everyone can quickly drink a hot coffee. 2. It’s harder to fall asleep, and 2. It’s quite powerful when you do it right. When I do coffee naps, I have to be ready to go to bed much later. It makes it much harder for me to fall asleep.
Expert Power Napping Tips
Here are a few tips for a successful power nap:
- Don’t power nap if you’re not tired enough. I usually fall asleep in about 10–15 minutes when I’m really tired. This is different for everyone. 10–15 is actually quite a lot. If I’m tired enough but need a break, I usually take a 15–20 minute walk.
- Put an alarm. I set mine for 25 minutes. I end up napping between 10–15 minutes. The alarm frees you from thinking about waking up on time.
- Don’t nap for more than 15 +/- 5 minutes. This depends on people obviously. 10–15 minutes work great for me. 20 minutes makes it hard for me to wake up.
- Cut off the distractions. I always listen to a song called Earth, from Gladiator’s soundtrack (by Hans Zimmer). I know other people who use earplugs. If you’re good at meditating, you can probably do without earplugs or music.
- Be comfortable but not too much. Napping in a comfortable bed makes it hard to get out. I currently nap on my chair, resting my head on the desk with my arms crossed over. It’s really not that comfortable. If you have access to a couch, I would go for that.
- A “successful” nap is not always about sleeping. I don’t always fall asleep. You still gain energy back from relaxing.
- It takes some time to recover from the nap. Plan for 15–20 minutes to be back to full energy. A successful power nap almost entirely removes this grace period.
- Don’t nap when it’s close to bedtime. By close, I mean less than 3–4 hours. You will have a hard time sleeping at night if you do that. I sometimes just go to bed at around 8pm because of that. My next day tends to be more productive since I’m well rested.
If you do want to do a coffee nap, go for an espresso. If you can’t set the water temperature, let it sit in the freezer for 3–5 minutes. You have to make sure to drink it fast. Real fast. The caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so it’s the same length as the power nap.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This takes practice. Keep trying. Don’t judge a “failed” nap. There are still benefits even if you don’t always fall asleep. Acknowledge that it does take time to fully recover as well. I’ve been doing it for over 2 years now and on average, I get 2–3 extra productive hours every day.
If you’re a leader in your company, lead by example. A lot of people are shy and are afraid of looking like a slacker. Show them it’s okay to power nap. Encourage them to do it. Do it yourself.
If you work from public places like coffee shops or co-working spaces (like me), just do it. The first time I did it, I was afraid of judgment. Especially because I was quite new here. But seriously, who cares. I cared more about my productivity than for what people thought.
And to my surprise, I didn’t get judgment, but curiousness. People started asking me why I was doing it, how I was doing, etc. People started doing it after.
Yawning constantly? Nap!
Can’t do simple tasks? Nap!
Struggling to keep your eyes opened? Nap!
Nap! Nap! NAP!
Power nap in the middle of the day when you need it. Make better decisions, be more productive, work longer and better. Your brain deserves a break too!
You can do this!
Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing! :)
First published here: https://theascent.pub/8-tips-on-becoming-a-power-napping-expert-de154b3c2d09