Have you ever fallen asleep at your desk or had an easier time falling asleep on the couch than in bed? Does your creativity need a boost? Could you use more enthusiasm? Nap your way to success.
The National Sleep Foundation reports some astonishing facts that validate the power of a nap:
* 48.5% of Americans report trouble sleeping
* 46% say their lack of sleep is due to job
stress and other worries
* 25% of the 1000 men and women surveyed believe that you cannot be successful in a career and get enough sleep.
Yikes! Well, the good news is new research reported in the Journal of Sleep Research shows that a 20-minute nap in the middle of the afternoon can be more effective in reducing fatigue and increasing energy into the evening than a cup of caffeine or more sleep at night. Your body is revitalized down to a cellular level with a nap, but not so with caffeine.
There are two types of naps – a stress-relief nap that focuses on energizing the body and a creative nap that fuels creativity, intuition and enthusiasm as well as revitalizing the body.
For a stress-release nap, set a timer with a soft ringer for 20 minutes. Slow down your breathing. Follow your breath in and out for the allotted time, maintaining a soft smile on your face to keep the endorphins flowing in your body.
For a creative nap, follow these steps:
- Find a quiet place to rest. If you are at work and if there is no lounge or quiet room, as a last resort, you know where to go. Choose the end stall if it’s available.
- Set a timer with a soft ringer and keep a pad of paper and pen next to you. (Just bring a pen if you use the restroom; you’ll already have paper.)
- Before your nap, focus your mind on one item you want to accomplish, pose a question to your mind and then let it go. (Writing out your question helps clarify what you want.)
- Limit the length of your nap to 20 minutes.
- Tell yourself that you will rest for the specified time and awaken relaxed and refreshed.
- Do a deep relaxation from head to toe, breathing slowly and deeply, following your breath just like you did in the stress release nap.
- Upon waking, record any insights or answers that popped out during your nap.
The idea for my book Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life came to me following a creative nap on a plane ride home after a speaking engagement.
Since that inspiring moment and learning more about how naps regenerate our bodies at a cellular level, I’ve stopped feeling guilty that I’m not being productive. By slowing down the brain and body, we’re actually revitalizing our energy to move faster, healthier, and more creatively. When I start to nod during the day now, I take it as a sign that my Creative Spirit wants to talk to me and give myself permission to nap.
If you already have a copy of my book, Living with Enthusiasm, reread pgs. 88-89 or you can order it on Amazon. If you’d like more ways to tap into your Creative Spirit, turn your stress into success, and feel more enthusiasm during your workday, learn more about how to do that with the Living with Enthusiasm Online Self-Coaching program. Try it for a month for free! Email me for more info.