Have You Tried a Massage Nap?

Naps are awesome. There are few better feelings than waking up from a nice, refreshing nap. For a long time, midday naps were unfairly stigmatized as activities reserved for the indolent. Research now shows that taking a nap in the afternoon actually yields huge benefits. Still, there are some best practices that you should take note of in order to make sure you get the most value out of your nap. 

First, it is important to know what the benefits are. There is a reason many modern-day offices include designated nap rooms or “nap pods” for their employees. Taking a short nap during the workday can improve your productivity and creativity when you wake up. Immediately after a nap, you should feel alert and rejuvenated, with a better state of mind than you had before lunch. You will take more interest in your work, and be more amiable to doing whatever a given job requires. Naps also improve your memory and ability to retain information. In addition to these many benefits to your mental health, frequent napping can boost your immune system as well. 

How do you get a good nap? Location is important. Take your nap on a couch or other comfortable place, and make sure the lights are dimmed and that there is not too much noise. Time also matters. The best time for a good nap is between 1 and 3 p.m. Odds are you aren’t being very productive around those hours anyway, and a quick nap can act as a natural pick-me-up in place of coffee or an energy drink. Be careful not to nap too late in the afternoon, or you will have trouble falling asleep when it comes to nighttime. 

Now that we have discussed both the why and the how of napping, we can talk about our main point: massage naps. Even if you follow all of the advice listed above, it is possible that in the moments immediately after you wake up, you will still act kind of groggy and out of it. Taking a five-minute massage before you doze off reduces those chances, and makes it much more likely that you wake up with abundant energy and a clear head. Another good idea is to have a little pre-nap caffeine, which will start to kick in right as you are coming out of your sleep. If you are worried about oversleeping, you can set an alarm; use a gentle alarm clock to ease you out of your reverie. Try these techniques together, and you will wonder why it took you so long to try a massage nap in the first place.