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Sleep Now and Feel Better Later

MindAlyssa Davis
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap." – Barbara Jordan

Dear Preschool Self,

We regret all those times that we fought our naps and that sweet, deceptive lullaby music. Let's trade in all those naps we didn't want back then for extra sleepy time now. We'll take all the snoozing we can get. And while you're at it, throw in a soft blanket and a back rub for us.

Kindest Regards,
Your Sleep Deprived Future Self

Sound familiar? Us too. Want to get the most out of your midday crash? Here's how according to Forbes.

For a Shot of Energy, Hold the Espresso

Length of Nap: 10-20 minutes
This is your typical wake up, get some extra pep in your step, and get on your way kind of nap. It's perfect for rebooting and going on your merry way. Don't sleep longer than 20 minutes for a power nap. Why? Sleeping for a half hour brings you to the earlier stages of a deeper sleep and can leave you feeling groggy, overtired, and worse than when you first went to sleep.

Pro-tip: Add caffeine. Drink a cup of coffee before taking your power nap, and you'll wake up just as the caffeine hits. Double energy burst.

For Your Memory

Length of Nap: 60 minutes
The one hour nap is ideal for remembering information. So if you've got something you're studying for, you're most likely to digest this information by taking a one hour nap post-studying. We wish someone had saved us from all those all nighters in college!

Pro-tip: If you need to be alert immediately after waking, this is not the nap for you. Why? Because even though you'll have completed slow-wave sleep (the kind that helps you process), you're waking up mid-cycle, which may leave you feeling more tired than before your nap.

For Enhancing Your Creative Side

Length of Nap: 90 minutes
An hour and a half is all it takes to complete a full sleep cycle. After 90 minutes, you'll be more creative, better at procedural activities, and more alert. If you can score a 90 minute lunch break, first you need to show us your ways and then you need to take advantage of that full sleep cycle.

Pro-tip: Sleep temperature is actually important. Research suggests that the optimal napping temperature is between 60º and 67º Fahrenheit. Keep cool and nap on.

The Best Time of Day

Dr. Sara Mednick of the University of California has invented your new go to for figuring out when you should nap. Her nap wheel tells you the optimal napping time according to when you woke up. Give it a try and get to napping!