A short but sweet 20-minute rest is the ideal time for a nap, according to Carmel.
“Take advantage of the natural alertness lull in the afternoon (around 3pm),” she advises. “At that time, lay down on your bed or sofa and set the alarm for 20 minutes. Close your eyes and if you nod off, that’s fine. If not, don’t worry – it means you weren’t really that tired anyway,” she adds.
And don’t be concerned if it takes you 15 minutes to fall asleep and you only get five minutes of actual sleep.
“When the alarm sounds, get up and do five minutes of stimulating exercise,” says Carmel. “Your mind and body are now refreshed and you’ll be efficient and productive for the next four to five hours.”
But it’s important your power nap doesn’t go over the 20-minute mark.
“Otherwise you run the risk of going into deep sleep, which makes it harder to arouse. Remember, napping doesn’t replace sleep – it’s merely a tool that’s very useful to restore alertness when you’re tired,” she says.