Self-Care

The Hidden Benefits of a Power Nap

I don’t know about you, but I am T-I-R-E-D. Like my soul is tired. I could really use the benefits of a power nap right now. (Or a horizontal life pause, as I like t call them.) 😉 This year has been the most insane roller coaster ride, and we’ve still got almost 3 months to […]

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I don’t know about you, but I am T-I-R-E-D. Like my soul is tired. I could really use the benefits of a power nap right now. (Or a horizontal life pause, as I like t call them.) 😉

This year has been the most insane roller coaster ride, and we’ve still got almost 3 months to go! 

Good thing naps are actually good for you! That’s right, catching a few extra z’s during the day can help you get more done, feel healthier and stay upbeat. 

Power Down Process

Not everyone is a fan of taking a little siesta, but science shows that you can reap some big benefits from a power nap – for your brain, bod and attitude. But you need to remember a few key things before you start to power down.

1) Napping later than 3PM may mess with your internal clock and make it harder to get to sleep at a decent bedtime. Stick with an early afternoon snooze.

2) Cap your nap at 20 minutes. You don’t want to fall into a deep slumber and suddenly realize you’ve dozed through important meetings or work calls!

3) While it’s possible to simply plant your head on your desk (haha!), find a comfy spot to rest, like on the couch or a recliner. Your bed might be too tempting a location to roll over and ignore your alarm from (and yes, definitely set an alarm!). 

Coffee + Naps = True Love

Which is better: a boost of caffeine or a power nap? Why choose!? According to science, you can combine the best of both worlds to maximize the benefits of each.

A recent study suggests that a 15-20 minute nap right after consuming a cup of coffee will leave you more refreshed than either option alone.  

Here’s how it works: 

When you get up in the morning, your body begins producing adenosine, which helps provide the energy needed for all your forthcoming daily tasks. The longer you’re awake, the more adenosine builds up around the cells. 

This biochemical litter is thought to be an indication of fatigue for our brain, and that makes sense: the more you’ve worked, the more tired you’d be. 

Coffee and adenosine compete with each other! So if you just have a cup of coffee when you’re feeling sluggish, it may help, but you’ll still be groggy. 

Well, sleep naturally wipes the adenosine count clean in your brain. And while 20 minutes isn’t long enough to send you into REM sleep, it is just long enough for caffeine to travel through your gastrointestinal tract and bloodstream. 

So when you wake from your coffee nap, you’re not only naturally refreshed but also starting to feel the full buzz from your java. 

The only catch here (if you can call it that) is that you need to consume your coffee rather quickly. If you like to nurse your latte for 30 minutes, the caffeine will already start to kick in before your nap can work its magic. So stick to a small 8 ounce cup of hot coffee or an iced coffee you can sip quicker. 

And if coffee isn’t your beverage of choice, you can work this restful formula with any caffeinated beverage; coffee is just the easiest. Determine the caffeine intake of your favorite drink here. Just stay away from sugary sodas and unhealthy energy shots! 

Sleeping On The Job

Did you know that Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington has a “nap room” in her office? Yup, she has fully embraced the philosophy that productivity begins with proper rest, even if that means a mid-afternoon recharge. She says, “having a nap in the middle of the afternoon is actually a performance-enhancing tool.” ????

Studies show that taking a nap in the early afternoon can actually help you increase your focus, memory and mood. So, other big-name companies like Google, Zappos and Ben & Jerry’s are jumping on the bandwagon and providing their employees cozy spots in the office to grab a few professional z’s. This is the kind of office memo we can get behind!

Nap rooms are even popping up across the globe, especially in airports. The Vancouver International Airport offers private nap chambers that resemble a mini-hotel room with shower facilities. The San Francisco International Airport and the Singapore Changi Airport have lounges for travellers to nap too. 

Even universities have recognized the benefits of power napping. Students at James Madison University can book up to 40 minutes in the Nap Nook, filled with bean bag chairs for a break between hitting the books (pre-COVID, of course).  

P.S. You can take a tour of Huffington’s plush nap room here.  

Final Thoughts Before Bed

It’s so easy to get sucked into the productivity paradox, especially now with such uncertainty going on in the world. We’re told we need to be always hustling but simultaneously, we need to prioritize self-care. When we take a break, we see tons of images that make us feel like we’re being lazy, so we get back to the grind again, and the cycle keeps going. 

Rest is something that isn’t valued enough in our society, so I love seeing people like Tricia Hersey, who formed The Nap Ministry in 2016. Their work “examines the liberating power of naps” through arts, storytelling and community events. You can check out their blog for more information on taking a break from toxic systems and situations to find healing through rest, and follow them on Instagram

Are you a power napping pro? Or are you ready to give it a try in your daily routine and reap the benefits of a power nap? Let me know about your experience in The Badass Beauty Club on Facebook!

And be sure to join me for a Facebook LIVE discussion every Friday at 9AM PT. Tomorrow I’ll be discussing how certain foods can affect your hormones!

LOVE + sweet zzzzzzz’s,

Moniqua Plante

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I'm Moniqua, your new let's-get-real friend.

A Real Food Devotee + Self Care Connoisseur + Jedi Mindset Master dedicated to helping you have a body and life you love. 

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