How often do you take a break during your workday? As entrepreneurs, we would prefer to never stop (see No Doz, Soylent, and other products that are made specifically to keep us going beyond our natural limits). Science shows, however, that taking a midday siesta makes the mind more effective and the body more resilient. 

I have smoothly integrated naps into my hectic schedule over the years, but most entrepreneurs I talk with have no idea where to start. The biggest fear? Going to sleep and not waking up, as if you'll Rip Van Winkle into the next workday. It comes down to training your body, and that comes with just doing it over and over again. 

The hotel chain Swissotel has a comprehensive infographic showing a brief history of napping, different types of nappers, and the best way to nap. Here are some key points:

  • Nap between 1 and 3 pm: Our body naturally slows down at two extreme points, 2 - 4 am and 1 - 3 pm. Napping mid-afternoon will fall into your body's rhythm.
  • Stop to be more productive: A short nap raises mental agility and staves mental burnout.
  • 30 minutes is ideal: Science recommends a half-hour nap. Definitely listen to your body, though, as my natural nap is 1 hour, while others are as short as 10 minutes.
  • Do coffee to ease heavy napping: Called a coffee nap, drink caffeine right before you lay down to help limit how long you sleep. Late day coffee is recommended, anyway.

Check out more on ideal sleep times and health benefits below, then catch the lengthy  infographic at Lifehacker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on: May 6, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.