Mastering the Art of Napping with Help from Total Beauty

Friday, September 30, 2016

I woke up like this. Sleep deprived. Flawless?


Unfortunately, we can't all wake up flawless like Beyoncé, but we CAN catch up on that sleep we missed out on because we decided it was more important to finish the 200th episode of Grey's Anatomy than to get those 8 hours of sleep. How? Naps my friends, naps. A while back I found this awesome infographic from called "Master the Art of Napping," and I have never looked back, it's even pinned on my personal Twitter page.

Of course there are billions of statistics about napping and why it's important, but I think this infographic does a good job of telling you what you need to know. I reference it many times when explaining the importance of napping to my friends. Let me break it down for ya:

There are five nap basics you need to know before you can master the art of napping: types of naps, ideal nap times, ideal nap position, ideal nap light, and ideal nap temperature.

1) The Power Nap

  • Time: 10-20 minutes
  • Purpose: The power nap is best for when you've had a long day and need to get straight back to work. These are my favorite naps! I just took one last night before I pulled a semi-all-nighter to finish my homework.

2) The NASA Nap
  • Time: 26 minutes
  • Purpose: The NASA nap helps when you know you're going to have a long day ahead of you. According to the infographic, it has been proven to improve pilot performance by 34% and alertness by 54% by scientists.

3) The Bad Nap
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Purpose: The bad nap is "bad" because it causes what the infographic calls a "sleep hangover," or sleep inertia, if we're being technical. Basically, you'll feel groggy and gross when you wake up because your body is still in a sleep state so the restorative benefits of naps haven't kicked in yet.

4) The Slow-Wave Sleep Nap
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Purpose: The slow-wave sleep nap is best before a big presentation or an important meeting because it helps with cognitive memory processing and remembering places, faces and facts. I've never tried this nap but I think this could be helpful for when I get into the workplace. Or campuses could possibly create napping rooms...(-:

5) The Full Sleep Cycle Nap
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Purpose: The full sleep cycle nap is great if you're looking for a creative boost or before a deadline or big test. It helps with creativity, emotional memory and procedural memory. I've definitely taken a full sleep cycle nap before my big art projects were due.

I personally don't discriminate against nap times, but there really are good times to take a nap. According to Dr. Sara Mednick, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, depending on the time you wake up, there is a certain time in the day where your body is in a perfect balanced state. This is where REM and slow-wave sleep are equally proportioned. She also created a nifty Nap Wheel to help you find your "Ultimate Nap" time. Looks like mine is at 2PM!

Pretty self-explanatory. But I gotta be honest...I nap in the same position I sleep...whoops!

This one's pretty straight forward too. Just think about the setting you're usually in when you sleep. This way you can get comfortable and fall asleep faster.

If only one could achieve the ideal nap temperature easily. This one is related to your usual sleeping conditions too.

A lot of people I've met think they "can't" nap because they end up falling asleep and not waking up until the next morning. A few tips to battle this:

  • Set an alarm: And when that alarm goes off, GET UP! If you sleep over the time, even by a minute, you'll wake up feeling gross and groggy. It takes some self-discipline but you'll get it down and fall in love with naps as much as I am! :D
  • Coffee: read that right. According to, experts recommend drinking a cup of coffee before you take a power nap so that when you wake up you'll be more alert. This works because it takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to kick in.
  • Pencil: Hold a pencil while you're drifting off before a power nap. The pencil will drop and wake you up!
Also, don't get discouraged if you don't feel super awesome when you wake up from a nap. Not every nap is going to be perfect. Sometimes I can't fall asleep in 15 minutes so I just get up and go back to business as usual, or I try the Full Sleep Cycle Nap. A lot of my friends complain that they can't fall asleep in 15 minutes, but you CAN. Just don't overthink it. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! 

I could probably write a book about why napping is so awesome for you but I'll leave that for another day. (; Make sure you check out the infographic where I got this awesome info from and share it with your friends! 

If you don't nap, I challenge you to go try a power nap! If you do nap, share this post with your friends and get them to try napping too! (-:

x Manpreet
All graphics courtesy of

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