How can we put the “power” into “power naps?”

Sleeping during the day is a great way to recharge, and grabbing a quick snooze for 20 minutes and then getting back to work refreshed. It’s a much better idea than slogging through, tired and unproductive, while you can barely keep your eyes open and struggle to concentrate. A cup of coffee or tea or a Coke is an obvious way to perk up your day and get more alert, but only to a certain extent. If you need to get work done, or more seriously if you need to stay alert for a long drive, when drowsiness could be dangerous, simply piling on the caffeine isn’t the answer. A short nap can really help, and 20 minutes of shut-eye can often outweigh several hours of “just pushing through.”
There are some ways to help reset your mind and body in the middle of the day. One good trick is to use the caffeine boost but in a surprising way: drink it before you nap. Caffeine, once ingested, takes around 20 minutes to fully function and get our heart rates rising. So scientists now suggest that you drink a cup of coffee (a quick-shot of espresso, for example) immediately before you close your eyes for a 20-minute nap. As your alarm beeps to wake you, the caffeine will just be kicking in, speeding up the return to alertness after a refreshing cat nap.

Consider also a meditation session, if not an outright nap. Meditating for ten minutes can provide many of the benefits of actually sleeping, but without the potentially awkward slumping on your desk at work, or looking for a quiet corner to curl up (of which your boss may, or may not, approve). Finding a quiet space, even slipping into the restroom while at work, and shutting out the world for a few minutes can lower stress levels, refresh your batteries and improve mood and concentration.

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