As students, sometimes we end up working on that last-minute assignment that stretches into the night. But it's important that you're getting enough sleep and rest so you can be healthy and productive. Napping has shown to increase cognitive performance, increase overall alertness, reduce the effects of sleep deprivation and ultimately make you more productive overall! Here are 5 tips to get the most out of your midday zzz's.
1. Limit them
Although napping during the day has its perks, make sure to keep your nap short and sweet. Studies show naps that are longer than 30 minutes can actually lead to poor sleep quality at night—especially if you struggle with insomnia!
Even naps that are only 10 minutes long are shown to significantly increase alertness and cognitive performance in sleep deprived individuals.
2. Schedule them
Schedule your nap for mid-afternoon. Between noon and 4pm is when we're most likely to take an efficient nap, because that time frame follows the low point of our body’s natural circadian cycle.
3. Shut the blinds
The darker, the better! Shut those curtains and/or blinds to make your daytime sleep setting as dark as possible. Sunlight can adjust your internal clock and interrupt your nap. If you can't avoid the sunlight, you can always get a sleep mask.
4. Add caffeine (what?!)
If you’re a coffee drinker, have a cup of coffee right before your daytime sleep. When you wake up 20–25 minutes later, the caffeine will kick in and you'll feel a boost of energy that will last longer throughout the rest of the day.
5. Try meditation
Sometimes, no matter how tired your body is, your mind is not. Try calming yourself for sleep with meditation techniques like breathing and visualizations.
Not familiar with meditation but want to try it out? You're in luck! If you're in Halifax, join Multifaith Services every Wednesday evening from 7–8pm for Evening Soto Zen meditation.