The big mistake people make with naps, is trying to use them to make up for a lack of sleep.  Nap = recharge, not compensate.

1. Keeping naps shorter means you’re less likely to wake up groggy and halfway into deep sleep.

2. Using a sleep mask to create darkness over your eyes signals time for sleep, and improves the quality of sleep you get.

3. White noise Blocks out most disruptions, and using the same noise every time (e.g. bubbling creek, waves etc) helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

4. Most people get anxious about a short nap, because they’re worried about how long it will take to fall asleep.  Taking 2-3 deep breaths with a slow exhale lowers heart rate, and you can visualize sinking into the mattress each breath out.

5. Hitting snooze makes the nap harder to get up from, and more likely to disrupt your circadian rhythm and night time sleep.  Sleep cycles take approximately 90-120 minutes, and the last thing you need is to get halfway into a sleep cycle (45 minutes in) and get disrupted.

This is what makes you groggy. Hitting snooze further compounds the problem by creating confusion over whether it’s time to sleep, or time to wake up.

If you want to nap like a pro, it takes practice.  Sounds funny to say, but napping is a skill.  So how do you get better at it?

Practice these things I list, keeping conditions repeatable to train your brain to fall asleep faster and maximise your nap.  Think you can’t do it?

WW2 fighter pilots were taught to fall asleep in 120 seconds or less, sitting up, while machine guns fired overhead.  Falling asleep quickly can be learned and trained, even if you can’t “shut your brain off”.