Power Naps

For difficult problems1 I have used naps at home and work to recharge quickly or to temporarily alter my information processing mode2.

When to power nap:

  • When feeling mentally fuzzy.
  • When slightly tired but still there is more that must be done before sleep.

How to power nap:

  • Find a comfortable position. Ensure it is materially different than a regular sleeping position, to avoid accidentally sleeping vs napping. (For example at home, I like to nap on my bed with TWO pillows rather than the usual one, plus a partial prop of my legs up by moving the duvet cover halfway down.)
  • Eliminate most light, but not all light, again to distinguish from sleep. A face mask, shirt mask, or beanie pulled over the eyes works well for this.
  • Set a timer. I usually use about 12 minutes.
  • Try to spread out limbs a bit so they aren’t touching. (This avoids unintentional clenching and bracing, which can be physically draining.) Uncross legs. Separate arms from core.
  • Disconnect from muscles. Easiest to do this in a wave, starting from toes and moving in a scan up to head. Disconnecting from neck and above seems to always be the hardest. Sink into the earth.
  • Partial disconnect from thoughts. You are now napping.
  • Nap timer goes off.
  • If warm up period desired (which is recommended), set a new short timer. Maybe 5 minutes long. Remove light filter. Partial reconnect to muscles. Full reconnect to thoughts.
  • Warm up timer goes off.
  • Stand up. Nap time is over.

  1. Difficult problems for me especially include problems requiring excessive intuition, extraversion-perspective, or feeling-perspective.

  2. Roughly speaking, my information processing mode in a moment corresponds to an MBTI alignment.