After a full morning of working, chauffeuring your kids around town, cleaning the house, or checking other things off your to-do list, a nice, rejuvenating nap starts to sound pretty good. You might be hesitant to take the plunge, worried you won’t be able to sleep later that night. But there’s nothing wrong with a good cat nap to get you through a busy day.
In fact, if you’re smart about your nap approach, a little bit of shut-eye can have some big benefits for the rest of your day. Just be sure to use these tips to make the most of your snooze!
1) Plan your naps based on the sleep stages.
There are four different stages of sleep—NREM Stages 1-3 and REM sleep. Each phase has different effects on your mind and body when you wake up from them. Most experts put the “perfect nap” at around 20 minutes, as this allows you to experience Stage 2 sleep without the risk of falling into Stage 3 or slow-wave sleep. Stage 2 sleep gives you energy and makes you alert, while waking up from Stage 3 will have that dreaded groggy effect.
If you’re extra behind on your nightly sleep schedule, a 90-minute nap is a good sweet spot to give you a full refreshing sleep cycle without waking up dazed.
2) Time naps for the early afternoon.
Think you can get away with a quick power nap after your 8-4 shift? Not so fast. Naps that go past 3pm are pretty likely to mess with your nocturnal sleep schedule. Prime nap time runs from about 1-3pm, when your body is naturally starting to get sleepier in its 24-hour circadian cycle.
3) Create an ideal sleeping environment for the most restful nap.
You might be tempted to crash on the couch for your afternoon nap, but that’s not the way to get the most quality sleep out of your snooze. Instead, you want to recreate the conditions in which your body and mind are used to sleeping. That starts with a comfortable, supportive mattress and good, cozy bedding. Then, eliminate any distractions to create a dark and quiet environment to sink into a slumber. Finally, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, ideally a little on the cool side, for maximum relaxation.
In need of an extra space to retreat to for naptime? Try a comfortable, high-quality mattress from Replacement Mattress! Whether your nap spot is an RV, truck cab, boat, sofa bed, or the floor of the extra room, we have a mattress that will fit your needs and give you nothing but sweet dreams.
Contact us today to order your perfect mattress!