In 2021, we continue exploring our energy. How it affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We’ve hooked up with a series of experts who’ll set an experiment every month to help us discover a new way of managing our energy.
Throughout February we are going to be exploring the impact a good nap can have on our energy.
Napping gets a bad press at times and can carry a stigma of being a bit lazy, but nothing could be further from the truth!
We’re fed the assumption that we should all be aiming for the perfect 8 hours a night or even worse, that when things get busy we should dump the sleep and push on.
We’ve become so much more aware of how important it is to fuel our bodies with quality food and conditioning ourselves with regular exercise, but we seem to have missed the memo on getting rest. Thankfully we’re waking up to the need to value sleep and the huge positives of getting regular time to reboot with a nap.
There’s masses of scientific evidence to prove the benefits of prioritising more sleep in our day, not less. All of which shows that when we get less sleep our mental and physical health suffers.
We could all do with a few more mins asleep at night, but don’t let that stress you out because another proven antidote to sleeping more is to nap.
Our partner for this month's energy experiment are certified napping champions ProNappers.
Cara Moore and team believe wholeheartedly in regular, short, daytime rest. Supporting their capacity to lift your performance, reduce costly mistakes, improve mental health and help you sleep better at night.
ProNappers are Wellbeing Consultants, and Sleep Experts, dedicated to normalising power naps for healthy and productive working days. Working with businesses to ensure napping is a key part of how they support the wellbeing of their people.
“The easiest and most effective way to get a quick energy boost is to recharge with a 20-minute nap. At ProNappers we are committed to helping you #smashthestigma and lift the energy levels of your employees. Trust us to power up your business.`` - ProNappers
Sounds like a no brainer to us and the Elvis Team are ready to lie back and get started...
The expert team at ProNappers have set us a series of challenges to take on this month:
Before we get into the challenges, there’s a couple of basics to get our heads into:
- Your nap should last a max of 20 mins - any longer and you’ll be in a deeper sleep and could wake up groggy.
- Give yourself permission - You might feel a few doubts creeping in about if you should really be doing this in the middle of the day, if you need to, give yourself permission using these Nap Affirmations.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to fall asleep during your nap, just take yourself off for a rest and focus on breathing deeply. If 20 mins feels too much, start with 5 -10 mins because it will still make a difference to your mood and productivity in the afternoon.
Week 1 - Get Aware
For the first week we’re kicking the experiment off by building our awareness of when we need to nap.
We’re aiming for 3-4 naps across this week.
To help us spot the need for a nap, the team at Pro Nappers have given us a handy Subjective Fatigue Test to use.
This super simple test helps you to recognise when your own energy levels fall and when you should stop to take a nap.
Most people will feel the urge to nap between 1 - 3 pm in the afternoon, but if you are an early riser, or have had a disturbed nights sleep, it's fine to nod off for your nap in the morning. We would caution though about napping much after 3pm as it will affect your nighttime sleep.
So, try the test, keep an eye on your energy, and when it feels right, go for a 20 min nap.
Week 2 - Play with your space
We continue with the same pattern as last week, again going for between 3 & 4 naps if we can.
But this time we’re going to think about where we take your nap and try out some alternative spaces (chairs, bean bags, sofa’s etc) to find the one which works best for you.
To help us experiment with different spaces, we’re introducing an eye mask to obscure the light and mean we can try napping anywhere that takes our fancy.
Week 3 - Experiment with your senses
For week 3, again we’re going for the golden 3-4 naps a week.
This week we’re experimenting with our senses and looking at how smell and aromatherapy can impact how we nap.
We’re going to be trying Pro Nappers Aroma Inhaler to see what it does to the quality of our napping. If you don’t have one of these you could simply light a calming candle or use a sleep mist spray.
Week 4 - Meditation
As we flow into week 4 we’re adding in the element of sound to see how that helps us drift off for the golden 20 min nap.
We’re going to be trying a guided meditation downloads from the guys at ProNappers, to support us in drifting off and waking us up after 20 minutes.
You could use any ambient music and an alarm through your phone to create the same effect so have a play with it and see how it works for you.
A huge thanks to the team at ProNappers for organising this month's Energy Experiment. We’re all super excited to get Napping and notice its impact on our day.
You can find out more about ProNappers at their website, you can also join in with their Nap School, launched this year. Nap School is an e-learning platform of 3 x 15 minute modules about how, and why, we should nap. It's designed to get companies and individuals on board with this energy elixir that's been hiding in plain sight for too long!
We’ll be reporting back throughout the month on how the experiment’s going for us and what the impact of napping is having on our energy.
We’d love to know how it impacts on you. How you felt before your nap and what a difference you noticed afterwards to your energy, productivity and mood.
The Upping Your Elvis Team.
Photo credit - Lộc Nguyễn Unsplash