Who doesn’t love sleeping?
Waking up on a Sunday morning, being warm under covers while the rest of the room has a chill to it… it’s basically bliss!
We all know sleeping is incredibly important and provides so many benefits such as:
- Tissue repair
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves brain acuity
- Regulate metabolism
- Reduce stress
- Improve mental health
According to Statscan, the average Canadian adult will sleep approximately 7 hours per night. It’s recommended that the average adult get between 7-8 hours a day.
However, there are so many factors that can affect that. Stress, children, or work, can often significantly impact how well we sleep. When we aren’t sleeping long enough it can lead to a whole host of health concerns not to mention the inconvenience of just being incredibly tired!.
So what’s a busy person to do? Power Nap!
Although a power nap won’t replace a good night’s sleep it can certainly assist you to not only get through your day but to re-energize and refocus you for the rest of your day. Imagine how much more you could accomplish if the 20 minutes you spend scrolling Insta or FB could be replaced with a power nap?
So here are some tricks and tips to having the best power nap possible!
Timing is everything!
If you are consistently missing out on sleep a power nap may be an excellent stop-gap for you so you can let your mind and body enter a quick regenerative phase so you can move on with the rest of your day. Some parts of the world even shut down completely so that everyone can get their nap (like that time I couldn’t find gelato on a hot afternoon in rural Sicily because everyone was napping!) Mid day is ideal – usually between 1-3pm (just after lunch) so that your body gets an opportunity to stimulate it’s parasympathetic nervous system so you can digest while you rest!
Not too long!
The science behind napping suggests that power naps are best when they last between 15-20 minutes. Any more than that can lead you into a deeper state of sleep which can actually make you feel more groggy and tired after the fact.
If you can nap in a dark room or use an eye mask this will assist your body in producing more melatonin which is a hormone that assists our body in falling and staying asleep.
Set the mood!
Even if you are busy and can’t leave your office (or home) during the day you can still create a nap haven for yourself. Find a cozy chair, couch or bed (if possible) where you can chill out for 20 minutes. Put on some music or even a short meditation to get you in the zone and put those noise-cancelling headphones to good use! Also – a blanket is key to helping your body regulate it’s temperature. If you don’t have a comfy spot, consider investing in a collapsible zero gravity chair (you can buy one for as low as $40 at some hardware stores!) so you can actually put your feet up and get some shut-eye!
But you love coffee!
That’s ok! Although it would be ideal to be able to go through life without caffeine, many of us have come to rely on it (thanks to our sleep deprivation!). Although excessive caffeine is not advisable for best sleep practices, having a power nap doesn’t mean you can’t have coffee! So here’s a fun tip – since it takes 20-45 mins for the caffeine to kick in you could actually drink your coffee BEFORE your nap, so that when you wake up 20 minutes later you are alert and ready to take on the rest of the day!
What else can I do to support my sleeping?
As great as power naps are, it’s not for everyone… People who have more complex sleep disorders such an insomnia may not benefit from power naps and it may create further disruption to already disordered sleeping patterns.
If you struggle with sleep there are lots of different natural ways to support it.
Acupuncture has been proven through various studies to successfully treat sleep disorders such as insomnia . Other modalities that may assist you in improving your sleep includes massage therapy and even osteopathic treatments! Each practice has it’s own spin on supporting your body!
We decided to try something new at FCHN to help support out clients with their sleep schedules. We are now offering complimentary Power Nap sessions you can book in our clinic. We have the blankets, zero gravity chairs and great music so you can get the rest you need without any of the hassle (plus it’s socially distanced and safe for all)! And the best part – it’s FREE 🙂 – you can book online HERE!