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Power Napping: Why you need it

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 20-minute nap is good for your focus, your mood and your overall performance.

But wait; there’s more. The longer the nap, the more the benefits. A 30 to 60-minute nap improves decision-making skills and memory. A 60-to 90-minutes nap boosts creativity. A 90-minute nap helps alleviate sleep deprivation. So the next time you need to be at the top of your game in the middle of the day, consider finding a quiet place and catching a power nap.

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find time for a midday nap, especially if you’re a member of the 9-to-5 club. Lunchtime is a perfect opportunity if you can find someplace that’s out-of-the-way and quiet — your car, an unused office or cubicle, or even the restroom, if necessary. If all else fails, take a few minutes to lean back and stretch out at your desk. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing to help induce rest and relaxation.

If you’re lucky enough to work from home, finding time to nap may be a little easier. Try for late afternoon.

Time restrictions, stress, and outside noise may make it difficult to catch those few elusive Zs, but here are a few tips:

  • Regulate your breathing: Properly oxygenating your body is important for sleep. Research restful breathing techniques to practice in and out of the office.
  • Meditate: Meditation helps improve focus and mindfulness, and helps your body prepare..
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils such as lavender, lemon or clary sage are linked with relaxation and sleepiness. A diffuser on your desk can help induce your lunchtime nap.

The next time you’re feeling that midday fade, don’t reach for coffee. Find a quiet place, stretch out and close your eyes instead. You’ll feel more alert, more focused and more prepared to face the rest of your day once you’ve discovered the  hidden secrets of the power nap.

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