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How to master the power nap

Master the power nap: 5 tips to get a great midday snooze

No matter how hard you try to get a good night's sleep, sometimes you need a pick-me-up during your waking hours. A power nap may be the answer for you to become more alert and productive during your waking hours.

A power nap, or "cat nap", is a short sleep session wake up feeling rested and energized. Here are some tips to get the most out of your midday snooze.

Pick the perfect time.

Many of us feel a drop in energy in the middle of the day, which is the perfect time for a power nap according to researchers at Health Heralds. They suggest that the best time for a power nap is approximately eight hours after you wake up in the morning. So, if you wake up at 7 a.m., the best window for a power nap is between 1 and 3 p.m. If you nap too late in the day, you may have trouble falling asleep later that night.

Set an alarm clock.

To achieve the maximum benefits of a power nap, limit your midday sleep to 10 to 30 minutes. Any longer than that may cause the brain and body to enter deeper stages of sleep, which could cause you to feel even more groggy when you wake up, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Get comfortable.

Make sure you have a place to lie down, away from noise and other distractions. A comfortable room temperature is also key to getting the most out of your power nap.

Drink caffeine.

It may seem counterintuitive, but drinking a caffeinated beverage just before your nap can help you to feel even more energized when you wake up. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to feel the effects of caffeine, so allowing yourself to sleep during this time will cause you to wake up with that extra jolt.

Get a good night's sleep.

While a power nap may help rejuvenate you through the day, they are not meant to replace a poor night’s sleep. If you find that you still feel drowsy after a midday 10-30 minute nap, you may need to reexamine your bedtime routine at night. Check out our tips for how to wind down at night to help you get a better night’s sleep.

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