just woke up from a nap, how fucked up is that -- Mac Miller, Blue Slide Park
I've discovered the brilliance of napping. The benefits are significant, but one has to have a system for it to work effectively.
This is a bit like a focused recharge of one's batteries. Taking the time to do this, one awakes and can go back to doing whatever non-napping activities one was before the nap.
Problems of Napping
One problem with napping is waking back up. In many cases napping is a bit like a taste of something, which leads one to want more (of a nap). So grogginess and over-napping is a part of the experience.
Napping on the Musculature
One great aspect of the nap is not just the mind that can be enlivened and refreshed, but the body. For someone who works at the computer, a nap can be a fantastic relaxor for the back and neck. Whereas working throughout a day leads to discomfort and soreness, a nap can make the difference between the onset or abatement of chronic pain. Naps are an analgesic for chronic tension-related pain, indeed!
Napping on Concentration
Another aspect of the nap is how it can reset concentration. The nap approach should be compared with the gritting through approach. With work, many folks have bought into the work-through-the-weariness mentality. I am one victim of this. The problem is, the decline in productivity with simply working-through weariness. A nap can be the antidote toward this.
Less Sleep Needed by Nappers
The amount of sleep needed during the primary sleep period is lessened for the napper. This can be useful if there is less time for sleep during that time, for whatever reason. This is a time-shifting of some of the sleep load. Useful when getting a good night sleep doesn't happen for one reason or another. Just through a nap in the day.
Two Naps a Day
Working in at least two scheduled naps can be even more brilliant. The naps do not have to be long, perhaps 30-45 minutes. This is enough time to allow for restful sleep to occur. Set the alarm timer for 45 minutes and if you wake up earlier, then just get up then. I've found that around 5 hours or so is a good marker for a nap, especially the first 5 hours includes an hour or so of exercise.