What did Winston Churchill, Lyndon B. Johnson and Leonard Da Vinci have in common?
They were all committed nappers.
Seems Right in the Afternoon
I have become a big fan of napping. I now take a nap once or twice during most days. Not long naps, just 10-19 minutes.
It means that you wake up just before you start to go into deep sleep, meaning that you don’t wake up feeling drowsy.
Dr Hilary recommended having a cup of coffee, setting a timer for 19 minutes and then taking a nap. That way you wake up just as the caffeine is kicking in.
Magic Hanky and Noises Off
I have trained myself to fall asleep almost at will, which is very useful for short naps.
I set my timer, lie down, cover my eyes with a folded handkerchief.
Then a deep breath in and hold for a count of five then release. Repeat. Then to normal breathing. I focus on my breathing and also concentrate on background noises. I discovered this trick about a year ago. If I concentrate on the background noises, trying to pick them all out however faint, it means that I can’t concentrate on any work or other matters that might be playing on my mind. I have found that this enables me to fall asleep in a few minutes.
Don’t Worry, Chill
It also doesn’t matter if you don’t actually fall asleep. Just lying down for a few minutes in deep relaxation will give you almost the same amount of benefit, so release yourself from the pressure to actually fall asleep every time.
I now nap before every gig. I will drive to the gig and arrive at least an hour before my start time. I park round the corner, get out my neck cushion, lay the seat back, handkerchief over my eyes and then ask Siri to set me a timer for however long I have. After my nap I put on my bowtie and waistcoat, change my shoes and arrive at the venue 30 minutes early to greet the client feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to go.
I commend this approach to you, it really works.
Get nap happy 🙂