There’s no reason to feel convicted if you decide to grab a few winks during the day.

While it might be tempting to munch on snacks or down an energy drink to get you through the mid-afternoon slump, taking a power nap instead can have health benefits.

If you think that a short sleep break sounds a little on the lazy side… Think again!

Influential nappers have included: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, George W. Bush, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Not to mention many of my own personal mentors have been known to nap. My dad napped daily – I don’t go that far, but I have been known to get a few zzz’s if I feel the need.

One friend told me her dad takes a nap when he’s behind the wheel waiting at a red light!! She says her mom wakes him up when the light turns green and he’s ready to hit the gas.

Each of these people already knew what science confirms…

A power nap can boost your memory, cognitive skills, creativity, and energy levels.

Naps are an underestimated secret weapon for refreshing the mind, increasing memory and cognition, and cultivating a sense of well-being so you can get back to your day sharper than before.

Here’s how to put power in your power nap:

  1. Give yourself permission to nap
    Don’t feel guilty – you’re investing just a few minutes to rejuvenate your mind, body, and mood for the rest of the day. Not only will you enjoy a tiny mental vacation, but the alert rested version of you will also accomplish much more than the fatigued version.
  2. Snack strategically
    Consuming caffeine, fat, and sugar interferes with your ability to fall asleep. If you’re planning on a nap within a couple of hours, choose meals and snacks that are high in protein.
  3. Go dark
    Stimulate melatonin production by napping in a dark room. Sometimes I even wear an eye mask as my grandmother did!
  4. Get cozy
    Keep a blanket handy – because your body temperature will drop while you snooze.
  5. Timing is everything
    Your best, most refreshing results will come from a nap in the early to middle of the afternoon. A nap that falls later in the day may interfere with your nighttime sleep. It can also tend to leave you groggy.

Speaking of timing, differing nap lengths deliver different benefits:

Add a genuine grade essential oil

Applying a calming essential oil or essential oil blend to your wrists, neck, and back of your neck can be helpful in relaxing and getting into that nap sooner rather than later. My go-to oils for taking a siesta are lavender, vetiver, or Peace & Calming blend.

How to feel refreshed after a nap

The real question is, how does one feel refreshed after a nap and not tired or groggy? I have a few tips for that, too…

  1. Choose to nap not too late and not too long.
  2. Get up from your nap right when you wake up. None of this “5 more minutes” nonsense.
  3. Do something energizing after your nap such as drink a glass of water, eat a healthy snack, or go for a short walk

Why are you napping?

It’s important to recognize the reason you need to nap in the first place. If you’re trying to take a nap because you can’t fall asleep at night, suffer from insomnia, stay awake due to anxiety, or simply are not getting enough hours of sleep at night, you need to take a serious look at your nightly routine. It may be more important for you to fix your habits and settle on a good routine to get a better night’s sleep.

If you’re like me and you need an occasional pick-me-up every now and then, a nap is a terrific option to get back to feeling refreshed.