#326 Napitations

Nap + Meditation = Magic

The other day I was taking a little napitation and I thought to myself, “Self, you should do a +1 on Napitations.”

So, here we are. 🤓

Napitations? Yep napitations. Part nap. Part meditation.

We’ve already done a +1 on the science of naps and how epic they are for our well-being. And, we know meditation is equally epic and have an entire class on Meditation 101.

So, why not put the two together, eh?

Reminder: Harvard research has shown that a nap as short as SIX minutes can boost your brain power and mood and all that jazz. I feel like I get a second day when I take a nap. It’s an awesome reboot.

And, as Sara Mednick, one of the leading researchers in the field and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life puts it: “There’s no such thing as a bad nap. Any time you spend in midday sleep will reduce the effects of fatigue and bestow benefits.”

I take a little napitation basically every day. Super simple. Here’s how I rock it. (Of course, adapt as necessary to the extent you feel inspired to do so.)

I work from home and have a simple futon-bed in the upstairs master suite we converted into my office. I shut the blinds, get the blackout curtains in place over the windows to get the room all dark like I’m going to sleep. I pop in the earplugs (I use a brand called Hearos) and, if it’s a bit loud with the kids downstairs, I’ll put on my heavy-duty sound proof ear muffs (that are literally for shooters; I use a brand called ClearArmor; these are also great for Deep Work focus).

So… It’s now quiet.

(Alternatively, on occasion I’ll do a guided meditation. My favorite? Kelly Howell’s Destiny meditation — which I’ve done, literally, hundreds of times.)

Then I grab an eye pillow to help the ol’ eyeballs relax. Did you know that, apparently, our eyes carry a ton of tension and that one of the fastest ways to relax is to help your eyes relax? Can’t remember where I read that but I’ve found it to be true. Therefore, I use a little eye pillow.

Next step is simple. Hop in bed. Pull the covers up. Drop the eye pillow on the old peepers.

Then, I breathe in to 6, hold for 1 and exhale for 8. Always five times. No thoughts allowed. Just nice, deep breaths to that specific count. That’s my 1-minute meditation. I do those five breaths every single time I lay down to take a nap. And, I do the exact same thing EVERY single time I get in to bed at night.

I never allow myself to think. (I do more than enough thinking the rest of the day. Hah!) I breathe in to 6. Hold for 1. Exhale for 8 — counting each of the five breaths with the fingers on my right hand. Open palm is #1. Thumb touching pointer finger is #2. Thumb touching middle finger is #3. Thumb touching ring finger is #4. Thumb touching pinky is #5. Ahhhhh…

I’ve done this so many times for so long that I can now get myself to drop into a pretty deep state of relaxation after just those five breaths. Consistency is (for me) key. I do the same thing EVERY single time before I nap and sleep. (Did I mention that? 🤓)

Sometimes I just continue breathing deeply. Most days I fall asleep. Sometimes it’s only for around 10 minutes. Most days it’s closer to 15 or 20. Every time I do it I wake up with a burst of energy.

There ya go. That’s Today’s +1. Napitations. They rock. Give it a try if you’re feeling so inspired!

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