Taking time for a refreshing nap can turn your entire day around, especially if you are having trouble fitting in your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. On days when you feel overtaxed or are having trouble getting your thoughts together, a nap can enhance your focus and mental acuity, and give you a much-needed mood boost.
Despite all the well-documented benefits of napping, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. For example, too much shut-eye in the middle of the afternoon can rob you of the sleep you need at night. That’s why learning to nap correctly could become a secret weapon in your recovery arsenal.
Napping Pros and Cons
The advantages of napping include the following:
- Naps can make you more alert and improve your productivity.
- Napping helps replenish your energy and regulate your emotions.
- An afternoon nap can be like a mini-getaway in the middle of your day.
- After years of depriving your body of what it needs to be well, napping in recovery can be rewarding and healing.
The downsides of napping include:
- Naps can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented, especially if you nap for longer periods. That means you could have trouble concentrating on any tasks you try to take on immediately after waking up.
- Catching shut-eye too late in the day might make you have trouble getting the good-quality sleep you need at night. If you are already struggling with insomnia, napping can make that problem worse.
How to Make Naps Part of Your Recovery Routine
If you think you don’t have time to take daily naps, think again. The “sweet spot” for adult napping is a 10- to 20-minute power nap, which is just enough time to give your brain a break without going into a deep sleep. You will wake up well-rested and ready to take on the challenges of the rest of your day. On days when you feel like you need more than 20 minutes of rest, you should still limit your snooze to less than 90 minutes to avoid disrupting your nighttime sleep schedule.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not possible to catch up on sleep. That means if your regular sleep schedule gets disrupted, a nap will not fix it. Instead, the goal of napping is to recharge and give yourself an energy boost.
Tips for Maximizing Your Naps
Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your afternoon rest.
- Approach it with the right mindset. Trying too hard to fall asleep can make you feel stressed and frustrated, which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve with a nap. If you aren’t feeling sleepy, close your eyes and meditate for a little while.
- Set the mood. A comfortable place with minimal light and no interruptions will take you to the most restful sleep stage faster.
- Don’t overdo it. Twenty minutes of quality time is enough to leave you feeling well-rested.
Get Your Zzz On
Instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again each morning, devote those minutes toward an afternoon power nap instead. You’ll be glad you did. And, if you’re looking for more strategies for your holistic addiction recovery, contact us at Canyon Crossing. As a unique women’s-only rehabilitation facility, we provide a range of unique features that help our clients discover their best and most satisfying lives in a caring environment.