I am a professional napper.
At least, I would be if the profession existed.
I’m extremely passionate about napping and work hard to improve my skills. And with my help, you, too, can learn to nap like a pro by taking my tips and tricks to heart!
I’ve identified five types of naps that give you a firm base on which to start building your newfound passion for this pleasurable practice. Each unique nap offers its own type of satisfaction, but beware! Not all naps are created equal, and some can be more difficult to master than others.
The Planned Nap is one that, you guessed it, you plan ahead of time! It also happens to be one of my favorites. When you’ve got a set schedule in your life and you know you have a few hours of downtime coming up, plan a nap!
Forget the outdoors, forget exercise, forget productivity! Sometimes you just need to put a good nap on your calendar so you have something beautiful and meaningful to look forward to.
A Planned Nap can be as long or as short as you want! From a couple of hours to a couple of minutes, when you know the nap is coming, your day becomes just a little bit brighter!
Life happens. And it’s usually inconvenient. Sometimes things come up that will grind your conscientiously-planned nap into dust, and you will be forced (shudder) to do stuff. Ugh.
But don’t despair! There will always be room on your calendar for future planned naps. The key to mastering the Planned Nap is flexibility.
Another favorite of mine, the Opportunistic Nap often comes as a pleasant surprise. You’re plugging along through your day, being productive and getting stuff done, when suddenly, you find yourself with unexpected downtime.
There are, of course, a variety of important and productive things you could do with this time, but really, what’s better than a nap?
Embrace the ‘me’ time and treat yourself to a restorative snooze. You deserve it.
Pro tip: Always set an alarm. When the Opportunistic Nap rears its magnificent head, you may be so dazzled by its beauty that you take it a little too far.
Oversleeping can give you headaches and leave you feeling less rested than you were before. It can also disrupt the rest of your day, much like the schedule disruption caused by the Planned Nap.
The key to mastering the Opportunistic Nap is to know when not to nap. It may sound crazy, but sometimes we can over-nap in such a way that our day is completely ruined. Remember, nap with care!
Also known as a Power Nap, the Cat Nap is a 10–20 minute nap that specializes in regenerating your energy even better than a cup of coffee!
Personally, I have never been a big fan of the Cat Nap. It’s just not enough time for me. I usually end up grumpy because I had to wake up way too soon. But that doesn’t mean it can’t work for you!
If you want to learn how to nap like a pro, the Cat Nap does have some proven mental and cognitive benefits, as expressed by WebMD in this article. It’s definitely worth an experiment. All in the name of science, of course.
This may be a con for lazy people like me but a pro for others. I can see why such a short nap that truly leaves you feeling more energized can be a godsend for busy people. But please, set an alarm! Make sure you own the snooze button; the snooze button does not own you!
Beware! This may be one of the most dangerous naps you will encounter in the wild. The Accidental Nap can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Even when you see it coming, it can still be dangerous.
As a perpetually exhausted parent, I am all too familiar with the Accidental Nap. They can happen anywhere, at any time, in any position. I’ve experienced Accidental Naps on the couch, on a rocking chair, while attached to a breast pump – even a micro-nap while fulling standing up by the sink.
The best way to conquer the Accidental Nap is to be aware of its existence and prepare for a fight. If you’re really comfy on the couch and just can’t move, at least set a timer or alarm so that, if you do succumb, you won’t be out too long.
Accidental Naps can completely disrupt, and even ruin, your day.
They can leave you feeling groggy, grumpy, and headache-y, and cause havoc with your sleep schedule.
Accidental Naps can cause you to lose track of time, duties, responsibilities, and (most dangerously) children. It’s hard to properly care for a child when you’re unconscious in a La-Z-Boy.
So beware and take care, lest the Accidental Nap causes you foreseeable but untold harm and misery!
Do you have an endless to-do list burning a hole in your pocket? Do you have what seems like an insurmountable number of tasks to accomplish in a limited time frame? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demands of the day?
Why not dodge all responsibility and try an Avoidance Nap?
The Avoidance Nap is quite popular among dedicated procrastinators like myself.
Sometimes life is so staggeringly busy that it becomes too much for one mind to handle. In these situations, often the best option for the overactive mind is to avoid it all and take a nap.
Unfortunately, the Avoidance Nap can’t actually rid you of your giant list of responsibilities. It can only delay them for a few hours of sweet, sweet sleep.
Eventually, as every good procrastinator knows, the real world will come back to bite you in the butt soon enough.
Don’t get me wrong. The Avoidance Nap is still totally worth it. Just maybe don’t make this one a habit.
Naps are not just for cats and children – they offer many benefits to people of all ages, and they’re a pleasurable practice to pick up.
There are other types of naps besides the ones mentioned here, and as a self-proclaimed professional napper, I encourage you to experiment until you find the right one for you!