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I made it through my first two years of college on power naps alone, so I learned the art of taking one pretty quickly. The same can be said about most students in online degree programs, where days seem to have no beginning or end to them. A good power nap is supposed to refresh your body so you are better prepared to think and learn. If you go about it the wrong way though, you may end up feeling worse than you did before the nap. Here are a few tips to help you zonk out the right way every time.

The Length of a Proper Power Nap

A proper power nap is only 20 minutes long, like the story of an hour example analysis. Most people take 30-60 minute naps because they assume they will provide enough time to fall asleep without getting too caught up in dreamland. That’s not true though. After 20 minutes, you run the risk of drifting into deep sleep, which takes time to fully recover from. That’s why you may feel weak and disoriented when you get suddenly woken up in the middle of the night. If you limit your sleep to 20 minutes, you will catch just enough to refresh your body without losing your mind to the deepness.

The Setting of a Proper Power Nap

Ideally, you need to take your power nap in a completely quiet environment so your body can relax for the limited time it is napping. I know how hard that can be though because most power naps happen with tons of people around. What you need to do is make an effort to quiet your personal space as much as possible. Pop in some ear plugs and put the hood of your jacket over your eyes to push away the light. You may not be able not get a completely peaceful power nap this way, but it will be better than nothing.

In terms of how your body should be positioned, you really just need to aim for comfort above anything, like recommend these guys: http://gabbleworld.com/forums/topic/33440/school-amp-sports-physical-spring-hill/view/post_id/75521";}" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":513,"3":[null,0],"12":0}">http://gabbleworld.com/forums/topic/33440/school-amp-sports-physica.... I will say that I’ve had trouble napping in the past when I was sitting up in an office chair. That’s just because my legs had to hold the chair still the whole time I slept, which made me wake up with incredible pains in my knees after I woke up. Avoid positions that seem unnatural because you will inevitably get a sore muscle from them. If you can lie down on a bed like you normally would, that would be the best solution for you.

The Timing of the Proper Power Nap

Avoid taking power naps around your natural bed time because your body may drift into sleep faster than you expect it to. If you have to work throughout the night, this may be tough to avoid. Nevertheless, you need to try limiting your power naps to daytime hours, perhaps some time after a night of rough sleep. If you have to take your power nap during your normal sleeping time, make sure to set multiple alarms to get yourself up, just in case you hit the off button of the first one and fall back asleep.

A power nap can in fact help you gain energy when you need it, and some say it is more effective than a standard cup of coffee. Try to get some actual sleep as often as you can, but working in a few power naps a year won’t hurt you. The guide above should help you get the most out of your power nap the next time you take one.

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