Why daytime naps are your summer essential (and how to get them right)

Oh, Summer. When the days are brighter and longer, the nights more vibrant and social. When the festivals, beaches, holidays, road trips and picnics in the park feel endless. Make sure your body and mind have enough rest to keep up, with one simple – and wildly enjoyable – addition to your schedule. Naps! You hereby have full permission to snooze and siesta this summer – and here are our top tips for making the most of it:

The science of naps

Studies have proven that regular naps of just 20 minutes can enhance memory and creative thinking, lower blood pressure and lift mood. It’s a quick boost for your brain and body, even when you’re not feeling tired.

Time it right

An effective power nap is just 20-30 minutes long (while you’re in the lighter stage of sleep). But if you feel like you need more than that, try for 90 minutes, which is one complete sleep cycle. Anything else might leave you feeling groggy, as you try to emerge from deep sleep. Remember to set an alarm!

Set yourself up

You’re most likely going to be napping in the daylight, so a sleep mask is an easy way to make sure you can shut off that sunshine. But only temporarily.

Travelling? Be sure to pack in a nap

Travel can put your circadian rhythm out of whack. If you keep pushing through with long, full days and then struggle to sleep at night, you’ll leave yourself in quite a sleep deficit. Adding an afternoon siesta into your daily itinerary can help you keep your sleep hours up, and give you a ‘second wind’ for those long holiday dinners. Remember to pack your sleep mask.

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