Naps aren’t just for toddlers.
Napping has a bunch of benefits for adults too, as a cat nap can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live longer.
If you’re searching for how to take a cat nap that will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day, check out the 8 steps to a purrrfect cat nap below!
How to Take a Cat Nap
1. Recognize That it’s OK
The first step for how to take a cat nap is psychological. You should recognize that you’re not napping because you’re lazy.
Instead, napping will boost your productivity and more alert after you wake up!
2. Nap at the Right Time
Timing is everything for your cat nap.
Try to nap in the morning or just after lunch.
This is prime power nap time because human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into a deep slow-wave sleep. This is the kind of sleep you’re trying to avoid since it will leave you groggy.
3. Put Down the Coffee
Before your nap, avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine.
You’ll also want to stay away from foods that are high in fat and sugar, as these can meddle with your ability to fall asleep.
4. Eat Up
Instead of caffeinated beverages, candies, or other foods high in fat and sugar, opt for foods high in calcium and protein.
Eat these foods an hour or two before your nap time, since they will promote sleep.
5. The Perfect Nap Spot
Locate the perfect spot to take your nap.
The perfect nap spot will be a clean, quiet place where passersby and cell phones won’t disturb you. (That’s right, it’s time to silence your phone.)
6. Darken Your Nap Zone
Perhaps pull a curtain over a window. Or, maybe wear an eyeshade.
Either way, you’ll want your nap spot to be dark, since darkness stimulates melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone).
7. Cuddle Up
Body temperature drops when you fall asleep.
This means you’ll either want to cuddle up with a blanket, or perhaps raise the room temperature while you nap.
8. Rise and Shine Time
After you’re relaxed and in position to fall asleep, set your alarm to get you up after your desired nap duration.
Why You Need That Cat Nap
Now that you know how to take a cat nap, let’s look at the benefits behind why you should squeeze a cat nap into the day in the first place.
Check out the reasons below for why naps are totally necessary.
Most People Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
The number one reason why people need a nap is that they’re not getting enough sleep at night.
(The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.)
Poor nutrition might be the reason you need that cat nap in the first place.
Many people feel tired in the afternoon because of plummeting blood sugar levels after a poorly planned lunch.
Believe it or not, naps are an evolutionary necessity.
A nap can help counteract negative effects the day has on your mind and body and instead, give those mental faculties a boost.
A short nap–even 15 to 20 minutes–can greatly increase the faculties that increase the odds of survival. This is why it’s natural that we’re predisposed to want to sleep.
Where’s your favorite nap spot? Tell us your perfect sleeping conditions for your cat naps in the comments below!