Napping is one of the most-often forgotten ways to quickly and efficiently boost your energy and focus. However, if you do it wrong, you’re gonna wake up all drowsy. Learn how you can optimize your nap.
A short power nap can quickly restore your energy & focus
No matter how tired you are, napping can help
A proper power nap is more effective than drinking coffee
If you don’t know how to properly nap, you’ll wake up all drowsy
I usually take a midday or an afternoon nap at least twice a week. Not long ago I learned how to get the most out of my daily nap. Since then, I have never taken a nap longer than 45 minutes.
And there’s a good reason for that.
1. How Long Should You Nap?
I’ve been experimenting with napping for months before I figured out what really works for me.
The science behind napping is not totally clear, but there are some facts you should know about.
You probably heard about sleep cycles, right?
Sleep cycles usually last for about 90 minutes and you go through several of those during the night.
What it means is that you basically move between a light and a deep sleep. The longer you are in a deep sleep mode, the more energy you’ll have the next day.
Why are sleep cycles important for us?
Well, I’m sure it happened to you before that you woke up all drowsy and tired after taking a (too-long) afternoon nap.
Yup, you know what I’m talking about.
So why this happens? Because you wake up in a middle of a sleep cycle. Even worse, you can wake up in deep sleep. And that’s the only time you don’t want to wake up.
That’s why knowing about sleep cycles is important (I told you).
To avoid waking up drowsy, you should never take a nap longer than 45 min or you are screwed.
All right, so how long should your nap really be?
What I usually do is the following:
- 30-45 min long nap if I am drained (in case I slept less than 5h last night or if I had a very tiring day)
- 20 min long power nap if I am “medium” tired (I most often take a 20-min long nap)
- 10-15 min long power nap if I just feel like I need an additional push for a couple of hours
That’s what works for me.
In most cases (90%+) I wake up completely refreshed and I have the energy to tackle the most challenging tasks of the day.
Most people I know take a 10-20 min power nap and this works great for them.
It doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for you as well, so you better try it out. But the shortest your nap, the lower the chance of waking up in deep sleep.
2. How to Power Nap Like a Pro
I don’t take a power nap every single day, but once I feel I need it, there is no doubt I will try to find a cozy place, turn off the light and activate my “Nap Coach” Pzizz. I wrote about Pzizz before, check it out here.
So you wonder how to get the most out of your power nap?
Let me share with you my step-by-step napping guide:
- Find a cozy and quiet place
- Turn off the lights and make the room as dark as possible
- Lie down in bed or your chair (I usually sleep on my right side, but when I take the power nap, I lie on my back)
- Use a blanket (you don’t want to be chilly/too warm)
- Spend a couple of minutes relaxing and sorting out your thoughts (you can also write down your thoughts in a notebook)
- Use the Pzizz app (set up your settings before taking the power nap)
- Quickly stretch yourself
- Before you fall asleep, try to be relaxed and focused on listening to the voice and music
- After you wake up, use one minute to wake slowly up – don’t jump out of your bed immediately
Here you go, now you are ready to rock’n’roll again.
By the way, someone asked me just recently: “Do I have to use the Pzizz app?
Of course not!
That’s just my recommendation.
The whole step-by-step guide is based on my experimenting. It works for me, but it might not work for you.
You should use it as a basis (because it works for most people that I know), but if you find better ways to optimize power nap, just go ahead.
I’d just ask you to share your step-by-step guide with me, so I can test your process as well.
3. Benefits of Power Napping
Taking a nap is not just refreshing, but it has many positive benefits.
Let’s look at the 4 biggest benefits of power nap:
- Power nap enhances performance, restores alertness, and consequently improves our results 
- Power nap increases our energy, creative problem solving and focus for several hours
- Power nap improves our mood and feelings
- Midday nap decreases the risk of heart disease 
So it is refreshing and healthy to take a midday nap.
Besides, if you want to be hyper-productive, taking an occasional power nap is almost a must.
Even if you eat healthily and you are in a good shape, getting this extra push from power nap is very welcoming.
4. Should You Drink Caffeine Before Taking a Power Nap?
Have you ever heard of a caffeine nap or so-called coffee nap?
Yes, exactly, what the hell?
The question is: What happens if you drink a coffee just before taking a short nap?
The answer: You’ll get a strong energy boost as soon as you wake up…IF…
- Your nap is max. 15 min long
- You drink a short coffee or espresso just before the nap
I know it sounds strange, but it works.
Well, caffeine needs some time to kick in (usually around 10 – 15 min). So you basically get a double energy kick as soon as you wake up – one comes from the nap and the other is from the caffeine.
Yup, and it really, really works.
Just follow the rules.
5. My Final Thoughts On Napping
Taking the power nap is nowadays almost a necessity.
Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week.
Just don’t have a “bad” feeling about your daily nap.
I’ve heard many stories about famous people who were regular nappers like Napoleon, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Salvador Dali, and others.
So you are in a fine community!
Just keep in mind that if you have to take a daily nap every single day, try to find a reason for that (bad sleep quality, wrong food, stress,…).