Sleep Tips

Ultimate Power Nap Guide: Improve Your Health, Productivity & Focus


Napping is for old people.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

How many times have you heard that? Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger told everyone to “sleep faster if you’re in bed for 8 hours” or Donald Trump saying “How does somebody that’s sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone that’s sleeping three or four?”, people have been trying to take time for sleep and use them for *productive* means.

Is it really a good idea to sleep less to be more productive? Does napping not work anymore?

No, not at all. Getting enough sleep is more important than ever and napping still is a great way to be more productive, alert, creative and healthy. The people who can get by on 4 hours of sleep are genetic outliers—and if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t among them.

What does this mean for productivity hackers and health enthusiasts?

It means that if you’re looking to live a healthy life—a productive life—that sleeping less is not one of the magical things you can do to achieve that.

Every hour of sleep that you miss has consequences in regard to your focus and functioning. And the sleep debt you’re creating might even never be repaid fully.

It’s really a shame that we as a society have so much distractions that sleep falls along the sideway.

I get it, life is hectic and most of us are juggling so many balls (health, work, friends, family and hobbies), that it’s tempting to sacrifice those ‘useless’ hours in bed.

Not to talk about Netflix who officially claimed sleep as its main competitor.

One look around the metro in a big city in the morning shows that we’re on our way to becoming a sleepy caffeine-driven zombie nation…

What if you could take advantage of this?

You know… the ones who actually get enough sleep, wake up with energy, full focus for the day and actually thrive in our hectic society.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to use powernaps to get more out of life.

Getting more out of life is NOT a matter of doing more things in the 24 hours you have each day. It’s about doing the right things…

Power naps are a valuable weapon in your arsenal

Naps are one of the few things in life that don’t cost much time—and have tremendous benefits for your health and mind.

You can lay down for 20 minutes after lunch (when you’re not productive anyway) and wake up ready to go with full energy.

The only thing that’s keeping most people back is the old beliefs that napping is for old people, that real adults should be able to get through the day normally.

So we throw more coffee at our sleepiness.

For my own life, my afternoons and evenings are so much more rewarding and productive if I take a nap after lunch. It’s just 10 to 20 minutes, and it clears my mind and gets me ready for the second half of the day. Taking a nap gives me a reset for the day, a second chance.

If you picked up this guide, you’re miles ahead than the majority of people out there. Not many people know how to nap properly. They try it for 2 days, oversleep their nap, become incredibly groggy, and claim that napping just doesn’t work for them.

Napping might be the most powerful ‘skill’ for boundless health

Getting good sleep is one of the biggest factors for great health. If you know how to get enough sleep—whether that’s only at night or with naps—you are set up for a life of health and focus.

Put simply, if you know how to get enough sleep, your cells repair themselves faster, you become less sick, have more energy and even less chances of dying.

If there would be a supplement that costs 20 minutes to prepare and in return you’d get:

  • Better focus
  • Higher productivity
  • More creativity
  • Less chances of heart disease
  • Healthier organs
  • Better hormone balance
  • And more energy

Wouldn’t you buy it immediately? That is exactly what a quick powernap can do for your life.

Sure, sleep won’t cure all your problems. Not getting enough will surely make you less able to cope with them.

What you’ll learn in this guide ( + short overview )

In this guide, I’m going to explain HOW to become more focused and healthy through using naps.

We’ll go over the 10 benefits that napping has for. Both the long-term effects, as well as the immediate benefits that having a quick nap has on your mind.

Then we’re going to discuss the 7 different lengths of naps and how they affect you.

After that, we’ll take a look at the 5 steps you must take to get the most out of your powernaps (and how you can fall asleep FAST).

In the final chapter, I’ll guide you step-by-step through which nap is the most suitable for you and how you can get started with it right away.

The best part about napping is that it doesn’t cost much time, it’s pleasurable and it has so many countless benefits that are hard to get any other way.

Sounds awesome?

Let’s get started!

Chapter 1: Ten Ways Power Napping Makes You More Productive and Healthier

Since sleep is one of the important things in your life, there are countless benefits to getting enough shut-eye time. What if you don’t get enough? In that case powernaps are here to help you.

Below you’ll find 10 of the most important benefits of taking a quick nap. The great thing is that napping is both good for long-term health—and you’ll also experience immediate benefits from taking a sleeping break.

They say that there are no free lunches, but the closest thing we’ve got as humans is the powernap.

It’s important to notice though, that many of the benefits of powernaps come from helping you to catch up on sleep that you didn’t get through the night. Although many studies also found that napping does have additional benefits, even if you already got enough sleep at night.

Immediate benefit #1: Increased productivity, alertness & concentration

Looking for an easy way to get more out of your working day? NASA has done a study on pilots who took a nap of 26 minutes each day, and found that this nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 54%.

Even if you don’t have as much responsibility as an astronaut on the job (who doesn’t?) these findings are pure gold.

Most people experience an afternoon-slump, in which concentration drops and you find yourself looking for 10 minutes at a paragraph, with continuous re-reading without getting what’s written.

Another study at Stanford among 49 physicians and nurses who worked the night shift found that they benefitted from a 40-minute nap (on average each participant slept for 25 minutes). The results? “Fewer performance lapses, reported more vigor, less fatigue and less sleepiness

If both these professions with an immense responsibility benefit from taking a nap at work – why shouldn’t you?

Further reading

Immediate benefit #2: Improve learning & memory

Have you ever experienced the following scenario? You’re learning something difficult (playing the piano, coding, crafting or any other skill-based activity), and it’s just not working out. You call it a day and come back the next day—only to find that after a good night’s sleep what was difficult yesterday is now second nature.

That’s the power of sleep on memory and learning.

A study from Saarland university tested the memory recall of 41 participants. They were asked to learn single words and word pairs. After that half of the group took a 45-60-minute nap—the other half watched a DVD.

Guess who had the better memory recall? The students who took a nap remembered on average 5 times more words than the control group.

Everyone can benefit from learning new information and skills—your job and livelihood may depend on it.

Further reading

Immediate benefit #3: Stop information overload

A friend of mine is a doctor who has his own clinic. He swears by taking a nap every afternoon. Why? Because he needs to take in much information about each patient, assimilate that with his own knowledge, make a diagnose and recommend what to do next.

If he doesn’t take his nap, he’ll find that he loses focus around 3 to 4 and can’t focus on listening well to the patient. In his job, this can have huge consequences.

A Harvard study found that naps have a restorative effect on visual test results. Subjects were asked to do 4 visual tests (9AM, 12PM, 4PM and 7 PM), and found that those who took naps required less time on the later tests.

Humans are information processing machines, so it makes sense to get the most out of this ability, right? Taking a nap will help you take in more information, and you’ll make better decision as a result.

Further reading

Immediate benefit #4: Relieve stress & boost your immune system

What’s more relaxing than taking half an hour for yourself during a busy day to recharge? Power naps have been shown to physiologically decrease stress markers in the body.

One study found that in 11 healthy man, 30 minutes of sleep restored biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels after a night of limited sleep. Neuroendocrine is a hormone that’s responsible for the fight or flight response.

Stress hormones are through the roof if you only get limited sleep throughout the night—and taking a nap can reverse some of these negative effects in the body.

It can be difficult to fall asleep—or take time away from your day—if you’re already stressed. But the decrease in stress will allow you to come back calmer and fresher.

Further reading

Immediate benefit #5: Elevate your mood

Winston Churchill said that sleeping during the day gave him 2 days in one day. And I agree, who doesn’t love a good nap? You get a new chance at the day, and if your morning didn’t go as planned, you can try again after taking an afternoon nap.

Now science has also shown this mood-enhancing effect of naps. The study found that, even for people who generally get enough sleep they need very night, napping may lead to considerable benefits for mood, alertness and cognitive performance.

So if you’re feeling grumpy, why not lay down for 20 minutes? You’ll awake with a fresh perspective and good mood.

Further reading

Immediate benefit #6: aid creative insights

The story goes that Salvador Dali used to take naps in his chair with a key in his hand. Next to his chair is a plate upside down. When he’d drift off to sleep, he loses the control over his hand muscle and the key drops on the plate.

It’s in this moment that he got is most creative insights.

He wrote about this moment in his book the 50 Secrets of craftsmanship:

“The moment the key drops from your fingers, you may be sure that the noise of its fall on the upside-down plate will awaken you, and you may be equally sure that this fugitive moment when you had barely lost consciousness and during which you cannot be assured of having really slept is totally sufficient, inasmuch as not a second more is needed for your physical and psychic being to be revivified by just the necessary amount of repose.”

We’re not master painters, but we can learn a lot from this. Have you experienced this state Dali talks about? I do know when I take a nap, the creative juices start to flow in my head. If I take a long nap I forget them—if I have a micronap, like Dali, then when I wake up I still remember.

In this hectic world we can all use an extra dose of creativity to help us overcome obstacles. The great thing about the Dali nap is that it doesn’t even take much time.

Further reading

Long-term benefit #1: Lose weight

The short-term benefits of napping are nothing to scoff at. Taking a powernap becomes even more impressive when you look at all the long-term benefits as well.

For example, naps are one of the most important things you can do for your health and weight loss.

Losing weight is all about eating less or burning more calories. Another component is stress. You’ve probably experienced cravings or hunger when you’re stressed out?

WebMD says that stress and tiredness can make your brain’s reward center more active—so you’ll start looking for something that feels good. Many turn to food in this case.

Sleeping enough will make you less stressed and less tired. If you can’t get enough at night, then taking a nap is s surefire way to combat stress and fatigue—so the chances of finding yourself at the office snack machine at 3.30PM decreases as well.

Further reading

Long-term benefit #2: Good for heart health & prevent a stroke

Which lucky people haven’t lost anyone close (friends or family) to a heart attack? Few. Data from 2012 showed that 28% of Americans over age 40 are taking cholesterol lowering medicines.

It’s one of the silent killers in our society, next to cancer and Alzheimer.

Now, I don’t want to put napping here as a miracle solution, since there are obviously many other factors in play for stroke and heart health, but midday naps are associated with reduced blood pressure and fewer medications.

The study checked 386 middle aged patients (average age 61) and found that—after taking into account factors such as age, gender, BMI, smoking, alcohol and coffee intake—that afternoon nappers had on average 5% lower systolic blood pressure compared to those who didn’t sleep.

Another study in Greece, where the siesta is still part of the culture, among 23,000 adults, found that those who took siestas showed a 37% reduction in coronary mortality rate.

It seems to me that we can learn something from the Mediterranean siesta habit. It’s a free way to reduce heart attacks and lower blood pressure.

Further reading

Long-term benefit #3: Prevent cell damage

Being sleep deprived not only hurts your ability to focus. Research has shown that sleep deprivation literally causes damage to cell in the liver, lungs and small intestine.

Luckily, the study also found that recovery sleep was effective in restoring the balance and decrease cell injury.

Which means that if you’re having a late flight scheduled, and only can make 4 hours of sleep—you can catch up with that by taking a longer nap.

Further reading

Long-term benefit #4: Boost testosterone

Just as with some of the previous findings, a lack of sleep has a detrimental effect on testosterone production in men. Not getting enough sleep decreases the production of testosterone in men.

On study in aging men found that there’s a correlation between amount of sleep and testosterone levels. Men who slept for 4 hours had around 60% less serum testosterone than those who slept 3 hours more (7 hours).

Why is testosterone important? It’s responsible for wellbeing, weight loss, muscle mass retention and having low testosterone relates to overall risk of mortality in men.

A lack of sleep can also cause problems for women with hormones, and a power nap can help to restore the balance.

Further reading

What does this mean for you?

With all the benefits surrounding powernaps, it’s one of the few things that you can do that only takes a small investment of your time and has dozens of incredibly benefits.

On the concrete side, it means that you can lose all the guilt that you might have when taking a nap.

I’m still working on this – and it’s getting better – I feel it a little when I’m taking a nap. For some reason napping is associated with older people. When you’re an adult, you should be able to cope with the stresses of life without *needing* a nap is still the current thinking.

Also, there are quite some practical things that impact your naps. Such as timing of your nap, how to fall asleep quickly, and what to do if you’re working in an office and can’t just go off and take a powernap.

In the following chapters we’ll discuss those—beginning with the different lengths and types of naps…

Chapter 2: How Long Should a Nap Be? (And Which Types of Naps Are There?)

There are different types of naps—depending on duration each offers a different use for you. Below you’ll find the main 7 types of naps that you can choose.

The type you’ll want to take depends mainly on the amount of time that you have. It goes without saying that it’s tough to fit a full sleep cycle nap of 90 minutes into your lunch break at work.

Sleep Related

[Guest Post] Smart, Budget-Friendly Ways to Help Your Family Get Restful Sleep

With classes starting up soon across the country, kids and parents are gearing up for another school year. Summer can be carefree and easier to navigate when it comes to sleep, but the school year is a whole other animal. For parents and kids alike, quality sleep can be elusive.

When anyone misses out on sufficient sleep, it affects every part of your day. Just like diet and exercise, sleep is important for overall good health.

Are you getting enough sleep? If you think your sleep hygiene could use some tweaking, and you want to make it happen without spending too much, here are some tips and methods to ensure you can sufficient and restful slumber — and it doesn’t have to break the bank!


How Much Do Sleep Do We Need?  

The inevitable question is how much sleep do we need? It’s actually a little different for everyone. On average, some studies show adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Depending on their age, children require between eight to 16 hours of sleep, with infants needing the most and teens needing the least. 

It’s important to understand the quantity of sleep doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of the sleeper. As ScienceDirect explains, those who have restless nights tend to feel groggy, regardless of how long they were actually asleep. People with generally poor quality sleep also tend to experience more sleep-related mental and physical health issues. 

Children who experience sleep deprivation tend to be irritable, have difficulty waking in the morning, and they can have trouble concentrating at school. It’s similar for adults, who will find they’re more forgetful, irritable, moody, and even clumsy. Although daily exercise and what we eat are factors, sometimes it’s our environments and surroundings that contribute to poor sleep, which means you might need to change things up. To do so without destroying your budget, use weekly deals and coupons from retailers such as Walmart to keep costs low when purchasing new bed linens, pillows, or even softer lighting.

Too Little Means Big Trouble

Do you feel awake and alert throughout the day? Or, do you rely on a cup of coffee to jump start your mornings, a caffeine-laden soda with lunch, and a cappuccino for an afternoon boost? If the thought of trying to manage a day without stimulating beverages makes you weak in the knees, chances are you need more sleep. And VeryWellFamily notes the problem isn’t limited to adults; kids struggle with sleep deprivation as well.

When you or your kids run on too little sleep, it opens the door to trouble. Sleep deprivation can lead to health issues like obesity, a weakened immune system, trouble avoiding viruses, and mood swings. It can also leave you or your kids at risk for accidents and injuries. If your little one is having trouble falling asleep at night, consider using blackout curtains to help prevent street lamps or headlights from coming through windows. Also, good sleepwear will keep your kids comfortable and cozy throughout the night; take advantage of cashback rewards from Target and online deals to save some cash.

Ambiance on a Budget


One of the best things you can do to improve the sleeping habits of your family members is to improve sleeping environments, though you’ll want to do this without spending a fortune.  Changing up a room can mean switching to a new mattress to making sure the bedroom itself is conducive to good sleep.

When it comes to turning your or your child’s bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, opt for restful colors and keep the room uncluttered and clean. Set the thermostat to a cooler temperature and choose comfortable pillows, mattresses and sheets. The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting the tone for a good night’s sleep by dimming lights (or using an inexpensive night light) an hour before turning in, and making a point to avoid electronics at least an hour before turning in.

Of course, changing bedroom ambiance can mean additional expenses that add up quickly. If new bed linens or a new paint color is required, you may be looking at a small investment — particularly if you’re redoing more than one room. Too avoid a shock to your wallet, you can rest easy if you employ a few smart shopping tips. To create a sleep sanctuary on a budget, use coupons and discounts for major online retailers like Amazon.

How to Get to Sleep


What you do leading up to going to bed can make a big difference in how well you sleep. For starters, it’s important to set a bedtime routine and stick to it every night – and that’s not just for the kids! It helps adults to go to bed at the same time, too, getting your body and mind into a rhythm. It’s also important to establish a time for rising every day. Before turning in, set a routine such as taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading a book. By doing the same restful activity each evening, you relax and help set your mind and body into sleep mode. 

Anyone who has trouble falling asleep can benefit from some simple, inexpensive remedies to help pave the way for getting to sleep sooner. Some people find that a cup of chamomile tea (check out this list for the best brands for sleep) before bed or lavender-scented pillow spray can very helpful in drifting off. Other people turn to yoga or stretching to help prepare their bodies for sleep, which only require a budget-friendly mat to get started.

Sometimes insomnia can be related to other concerns, such as what you do during your daytime hours. Consuming too much caffeine or other stimulants can cause sleep issues, and not getting enough exercise or exercising late in the day can upset sleep. Look carefully at how you and your children spend your days to improve sleep at night.

If you find you’re consistently having trouble sleeping, keep a sleep journal for several weeks to track what you’re encountering. It could be something as simple as needing to avoid chocolate before bed, or finishing off a to-do list before turning in. If all else fails, speak to your doctor or look to alternative therapies. Some studies have shown people often benefit from acupuncture therapy.

Sleep Tight!  

You and your children need a good night’s sleep. Check your environment and habits and make changes as needed. Remember, don’t go overboard spending money, but do what you can to make the bedroom and your lifestyle perfect for quality sleep. And remember, good sleep hygiene is an important key to good health for everyone!


This is a guest post from Julia, a retired board certified nurse practitioner from There you’ll find tips that she has developed to help you be your own advocate in seeking medical care, dealing with insurance companies, and how to make sure you are contributing to your own health and well-being. Her best advice? Befriend your doctor!

Sleep Related

Sleep Better At Night: 5 Tips to Increase Your Sleep Quality

sleep betterMany people would love to sleep better. Sleeping badly throughout the night is a complaint that the majority of adults (and teens) is familiar with. The reason for that is simple – it’s very easy to do things that are harmful for your sleep So you’d do well to avoid these specific things.

But on the other hand, if you know what is bad for sleep and what is good for sleep. Then you can supercharge your nights and wake up with boundless energy! 

So, let’s dive into 5 tips that can give you better sleep at night…

How to sleep better at night: 5 tips

#1 Sleep better by eating right

One of the easiest things to do if you want to sleep more deeply at night is to make the right diet choices. Although it’s important to watch what you eat during the day it gets especially important when it comes to your nighttime eating habits.

For instance:

  • Less fat food eating too much fat food at night can cause your digestive system to overwork during the night. Avoid fatty and greasy foods to give your body a chance to heal and rest at night instead of working to digest your dinner or late night snacks.
  • Get all your vitamins –  for general functioning of your body it’s of vital importance that you get all your vitamins. When you don’t, your body starts compromising on all the important processes that are going on in your body. A lack of vitamins can severely decrease the quality of your sleep.
  • Get your minerals –  minerals such as magnesium are essential for relaxing. So it makes sense that you should get enough of it throughout the day. Get yourself a bottle of high-quality magnesium supplements!
  • Eat light at night –  this also helps to make your digestion go more smooth at night. Eating past the point of being full will make your body spend all its energy on digesting food instead of resting.

#2 Sleep better by being active throughout the day

Your body has a natural rhythm. That means that if you are doing everything in tune with that rhythm, your body will reward you by feeling better and sleeping better.

And your body is primed to be outside and active throughout the day. Simple sunlight can activate your body and shows it that it’s daytime and time to be awake.

The more awake you are during the day, the better your body will take care of the resting part.

So be active during the day and be sure to get ample sunshine to let your body know that it needs to be awake.  If you do this, you’ll find that you automatically become tired at the right time at night.

Note: is the sun not shining? Get yourself a bottle of high quality vitamin D to survive the winter!

sleep quality better
If you want sound sleep at night, be active during the day!

#3 Sleep better by waking up at the right time every day

Another trick that you can use to set your circadian rhythm right is to wake up at the same time every day After doing this for a couple of days, you’ll find that your body automatically starts giving you specific cues at night when it’s time to go to bed.

So if you wake up at 7.30 every morning, your body might tell you around 11 that it’s bedtime. But if you sleep really badly one night or spend a lot of energy throughout the day, your body will maybe already at 10 tell you it’s time to go to sleep.

Waking up at the same time every day is great way to set your circadian rhythm right!

#4 Sleep better by avoiding blue light and stimulation at night

Blue light has a very strong effect on your body. You see, the light that regular screens (laptop, phone, tablet) omit is so-called ‘blue light’.

And this blue light mimics the light from the sun. The effect of this is that, if you’re staring at your tablet or phone in the evening before bed that your body thinks it’s still light outside.

And this halts melatonin production.Which is vital for a good night of sleep.

An easy way to still use your phone or laptop at night is to install a simple program called Flux.

It takes around 2 minutes to install and the pay-off of doing this can be tremendous! Doing this can be a huge game changer in falling asleep at the right time!

#5 Sleep better by getting a better mattress

The last sleep tip for better sleep is to get a better mattress. You know, if you sleep on an old mattress it can harm your sleep quality on 2 ways:

  • The mattress is uncomfortable –  sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress will cause you to toss and turn throughout the night. You will keep searching for the *right* sleeping position at the expense of getting a good night of sleep.
  • Your mattress causes back pains or aches – if your mattress isn’t firm enough it can cause pains and aches in your body. Needless to say, the more you experience these, the worse you will sleep.
back pain sleep
If you’re back hurts because you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress – then you’re sleep quality is very likely to be poor as well.

If you’re curious what mattresses I recommend for better sleep quality, then there are several categories that you can choose between.

  1. Mattresses that help you against back pains.
  2. Memory foam mattresses that offer you the best comfort and support that your body needs.
  3. Luxury mattresses. These can get a bit more expensive, but the extra comfortability is sure worth it!
  4. Get a weighted blanket

If you have any question about which mattresses are the right fit for you and your body, feel free to leave a comment. I hope that all these tips are really going to make a difference in helping you sleep better!

P.S. one of the most effective supplements for sleeping better and being calm in general is L theanine. You can read everything you need to know about the relationship between L theanine and sleep on this page.