Are naps good or bad?

Siesta....ZZZZZZZ  Grandma always says you can't catch up on sleep, but maybe you can...

If you know me by now, then you already expect my answer that everything in life is specific to the individuals own health needs.  In other words, I won't say good or bad.  Now, if you are often finding yourself sleepy during the day or reaching for caffeine and sugar, this could be a good natural alternative for you. 

Just like anything else in life, napping takes practice.  It is important to find what your magic amount of time is to take a nap.  While experts say 15-30 minutes is adequate - but it is up to you to determine the best amount and also to regulate that.  This may require some trial and error and I am willing to bet you may already know what doesn't work!  Its tough not to fall into a regular sleep cycle during a nap, because we have practiced that habit every single day since the day we were born (maybe minus just a few of them :) )

I like to think of myself as having come very close to perfecting the nap.  I have fallen into one of those dreaded 1-2 hour naps that leaves you feeling groggy when you awake, but I have also experience a 10-15 minute nap that leaves a euphoric feeling more powerful than coffee, sugar or even a cold shower! 

Some of the tricks I use to fall into a "shortened nap" are listed:

1) Position yourself somewhere that you are comfortable enough to fall asleep, but that is not desirable enough to keep you there for too long.  Some places that work for me are the recliner, a hammock, on the floor on my back.

2) Position yourself in a way, such as on your back that will cause you to wake up after a short amount of time.

3) Drink a bunch of water before you have your nap, so that nature wakes you up and makes it impossible to over-sleep. 

AND if you need to use a timer to wake you up....

4) Schedule your nap when you know there will be an interruption or if you have some sort of appointment that you need to get to.

5) Plan an exciting snack, meal or something that will make you want to wake up (favorite tv show, etc.)

If you have other suggestions, please comment and share them with us!!!