I’m typing this right after taking a little napitation. (I literally got up 4 minutes ago. Hah.)
It always blows me away how a nap as brief as 6 minutes (!) can reboot your ol’ brain and give you another 1/2 a day. (The nap I just enjoyed was 13 minutes total.)
My routine is always the same: Lock the office door. Close the office windows. Pull the blackout curtains shut, pop in the ear plugs, cruise over to the futon, lay down, put the ear muffs on to be safe (with a 16-month old about ready to wake up from her nap and a 5-year-old downstairs I’m leaving nothing to chance here folks!), start the timer (I love tracking these things), put the eye pillow on and… it’s time.
Inhale to 6. Hold for 1. Exhale for 8+. That’s one. I count off five of those breaths.
And… I’m usually out shortly thereafter. (Laughing.)
…. BZZZZZZTTTTT! ….
I love that reboot feeling of coming back online after a nap. Always makes me laugh. “Where am I?!” “Is it morning?” “Oh, yah. I just took another epic nap. OK. Feeling good. What’s next?” ← That’s literally pretty much my inner dialog. Every time. 🤓
So, it was with a great appreciation for the power of power naps that I read Dan Pink’s ideas on the subject in his great book When—which is all about “the science of perfect timing.” Among other things, Dan tells us how to best manage the inevitable (!) peaks and troughs and rebounds of our day-to-day lives.
In terms of naps, here’s how he puts it: “A large body of research shows that naps improve cognitive performance and boost mental and physical health. In many ways, naps are Zambonis for our brains. They smooth out the nicks, scuffs, and scratches a typical day leaves on our mental ice.”
After walking us through the virtues of naps, he adds a wrinkle. Something called a “nappuccino.”
I was reading it and I was like, “A nappa-what?” “Hah.” “A nappaccino!” “Good one.”
Dan has a handy-dandy little PDF guide you can download on his site. It’s a 5-step process. Here’s the short story.
1. Figure out when your energy tends to dip in the afternoon. Note: Research shows it tends to dip around 7 hours after you got up. Personal note: I got up at 4:12am this morning and took my nap at 2:45pm—which is 10.5 hours after getting up so it varies.
2. Create a quiet environment. And turn off your phone, will ya!
3. Drink a cup of coffee! This is where it gets saucy for the adventurous among us. Apparently it takes 25 minutes for caffeine to kick in so drink it right before you plan to zonk out.
4. Set a timer for 25 minutes. You don’t want to sleep so long that you create “sleep inertia.” 10 to 20 minutes is perfect.
5. Repeat consistently. Dan tells us that there’s evidence that frequent nappers get more benefits so try to make it a habit if you’re feeling it and have the freedom to do so.
That’s a nappuccino. If you’re feeling bold, give it a try!
I tried it and found that I’m a little too sensitive to caffeine so I stopped after a couple days.
I did just do an exogenous ketone supplement (caffeine-free Keto Fire, for curious souls!) right before my nap and that seems to be working well so… (Not sure what that would be called… Ketonap? Ketonapitation?)
Nap. Napitation. Nappaccino.
If you’re feeling inspired: Take your pick and enjoy the zamboni for your brain!!