I enjoy naps when I do them the right way.
The worst feeling is when a nap turns into a full 3 or 4 hour sleep session. Your sleep schedule is messed up for the next day or two, you feel sluggish, and your routines get thrown off course.
This is most likely to happen when I plan on taking a full 90 minute nap in my bed. 90 minutes will get you through a full sleep cycle and will leave you feeling refreshed. The problem is that it’s very easy to stay in bed and sleep a few more hours.
If you can’t get a 90 minute nap in, a 20 minute nap actually feels great. It’s enough to shake off that dozing off feeling you get after lunch.
Of course, the dangers of a 20 minute nap is the same as the 90 minute nap, it can easily turn in a few hour of sleep.
Here’s my technique for making sure a 20 minute stays a 20 minute nap:
Nap in a reclining chair.
That’s it. The recliner is comfortable enough that you’ll doze for a few minutes, but uncomfortable for long stretches of time. Usually my neck will stiffen up and I’ll have to get up. At that point I’ll feel refreshed and be ready for whatever my next task is.
If your recliner is way too comfortable, you can also try drinking a cup of coffee and a large glass of water before your nap. You’ll have to pee before too long.
Feel free to send me your “nap hacks” at firstname.lastname@example.org .