If only we could all be so lucky, eh? I understand that finding time may be a challenge, but there are big benefits to be had from napping. It’s important to recognize that naps are not about making enough time to fall into deep sleep. The goal is to facilitate “power naps,” short breaks of 10 to 25 minutes during which you can calm down, relax, close your eyes, and possibly doze off. Brief naps, even for periods as short as 6 to 10 minutes, can restore wakefulness and promote alertness and learning.
In general, I don’t advise long naps (60 to 90 minutes or longer) because they can disrupt nighttime sleep patterns, which are a priority. In fact, I want you to avoid entering a normal sleep cycle during a nap because if you don’t sleep long enough to complete the cycle, you will wake up feeling very tired and groggy.
If you are unable to doze off, you might meditate instead. Meditation has recently become more widely adopted as a useful tool for enhancing performance and recovery. Though this is not my area of expertise, many elite performers in business and sport participate in some form of meditation.
If you get that terrible, groggy feeling after a nap, it’s a sign that you are napping too long.
If you love this post, there’s more where that came from! Check out The Well-Built Triathlete: Turning Potential Into Performance by the head coach and founder of Purplepatch Fitness, Matt Dixon. Matt is also coach to professional triathlete and Habit Project founder Sarah Piampiano.