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The Skill of the Afternoon Siesta

Credit: Unsplash
Napping involves more than just lying down flat.

During my childhood, my parents always had a preference for taking a nap in the early afternoon on weekends. Back then, I couldn’t comprehend why one would choose to sleep on the weekend when there were opportunities to enjoy activities like playing outdoors or video games. Now, as an adult with a 9 to 5 job, I understand the attractiveness of it completely. Sometimes, a short break in the middle of the day is essential. However, there is a specific skill to the afternoon nap that may not be evident to everyone.

Initially, despite the pleasure of naps, it’s advisable to keep them brief: 20 minutes, maybe 30 at most. Deep, restful sleep is reserved for the nighttime, so falling into a deep slumber during the day can disrupt your sleep schedule. I prefer to watch a low-quality movie that serves as calming background noise and prevents me from falling into a very deep sleep. Alternatively, you can set an alarm on your phone.

Credit: Unsplash

Secondly, for the nap itself, you should aim to be relaxed but not overly comfortable. There are still activities to tackle for the rest of the day, so it’s not the time to slip into loungewear just yet. Discover a dim, pleasantly chilled spot to rest. Your living room sofa can suffice if you draw the curtains shut, but you could also use an eye mask.

Lastly, after the nap, allocate a few minutes for your mind and body to reawaken before engaging in any critical tasks. Even if you didn’t enter a deep slumber, your body was operating at a lower level for a while, so it requires some time to return to full functionality. Once you are fully alert, you should feel refreshed, attentive, and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

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