• Linda T Gottlieb, MA, CPT, CET

How to Take a Nap - Fit Training Blog for Women 40, 50 and Beyond

How do you feel about napping? Many American's feel that it's a "senior" sign, or a demonstration of weakness. I disagree.

I am an advocate of a well done nap and suggest you think about the benefits of a restorative nap. What would it be like to be at your highest energy level all day? How would the quality of your life and work benefit from your highest level of zest?

Here are some ideas on HOW to take a nap that refreshes, restores and realigns your energy:

1. Learn your body rhythms. Notice when you might start to feel drowsy each day. We have natural cycles and everyone is different. Give yourself the greatest permission to recharge with a few minutes of what my grandmother called "resting her eyes."

2. Turn down the lights. Just like at bedtime, decreasing sensory interruptions helps you power nap. Reduce the media and external stimulation so you can rest.

3. Alarm it. Oh yeah, you could sleep a lot longer than a nap period and then really mess up your circadian processes. Set an alarm for the time that's best for you. Many of my clients say 15-20 minutes is optimal.

4. Lie down. If you can, lying down is the best position for your nap. You want to awaken refreshed, not with a crick in your neck.

5. Cover up. A cozy cover helps the body temperature warm to a sleep comfy temp.

Can't sleep? Meditation can be a nice break, focusing on your quiet breaths, or a mantra created to recharge your body and spirit.

Check out what the National Sleep Foundations states one the home page of its website:

As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.

You might wonder WHEN the best time for you to catch a cap nap would be. Here's where this cool sleep wheel can help:

Happy Nappy!

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