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How to Nap Better

Daydreaming about getting more shut-eye? Sleep expert Michael Breus helps us make the most of our afternoon zzz's.
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7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Wake up, and vow to take a nap later.
Doing so might make it easier for you to get out of bed in the morning. Pack your purse with any necessary sleep aids, like an eye mask, earplugs or a travel alarm clock.

9:30 a.m.
Stop drinking all caffeinated beverages
-- for the morning, at least. It takes about seven hours for caffeine to leave your system, so cut yourself off now if you plan to sneak in a snooze during the most rewarding time of the day.

Noon
Scout a dark, quiet napping location
that comes as close as possible to simulating nighttime. Make sure to pick a spot that gives you enough room to recline -- it takes 25 percent longer to fall asleep when your body is upright.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
It's the best time to nap!
Your body temperature naturally dips midway through the day. That's its way of saying, "Nap, please!" Prep for one by drinking a cup of coffee or tea. It may sound strange, but the caffeine won't kick in until after your sleep session (it takes about 30 minutes).

3:30 p.m.
Wake up now to feel refreshed
and ready to go, not groggy. If your nap passes over the 30-minute mark, you?re better off extending it to 80 minutes, the time it takes to get through a full sleep cycle.

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