Would You Visit a “Nap Cafe?”

When I was working in the city for a big corporation, there were many days when I was wishing there was a “Nap Cafe” I could go to instead of having lunch. I was working A LOT and never getting enough rest so I was always tired….just like everybody else! So this idea sprung in my head, a “Nap Cafe,” where you could go to take a nap, in a small quiet room. All my friends laughed at the idea saying it would be too difficult to keep people from doubling up in those small quiet rooms, wink, wink. I don’t think so. But my idea never got implemented. I was busy with other projects.
The Next Best Thing- Meditation Naps

Fast forward a few years later, rocking my baby to sleep. Still tired, maybe more so, from all the night-time feedings. That’s when I “accidentally” discovered an amazing thing: Meditation Naps. Every time I would either be rocking or feeding my new born baby, I would close my eyes for the 10-20 minutes that it would take to feed or get the baby to sleep. I started to notice something very powerful. Simply by closing my eyes, I instantly felt better. OK, so maybe you say “no kidding Sully, of course you feel better when you close your eyes when you’re tired.” Well, I’m with you, but read on, because there’s more.

Do You Ever Rest Your Eyes At Work?

Try this for one minute. Sit back in your chair, relax your arms away from your desk, and close your eyes, taking a few nice slow deep breathes. After a minute, open your eyes. How do you feel? Better, right? You probably want a little more of that. And you should get more of that!

See, when most people when they are tired at work, what do they do? They Power Through. And, of course, this works to a certain extent, but not as good as if you take a “Meditation Nap.” So what is this Meditation Nap?

How to Take a “Meditation Nap”

You can benefit from this in as little as 5 minutes, but optimal time would be 10-20 minutes.

  1. STRETCH your legs for 30 seconds.
  2. SIT on a chair or couch. If you’re at work back away from your desk a bit.
  4. STRETCH your arms above your head, slowly roll your head to stretch your neck.
  5. DEEP BREATHING – take at least  3 deep breaths in and  out. Do this slowly and hold in between the in and out breath.
  6. REST and RELAX your face, jaw, eyes and whole body.
  7. BE AWARE HOW YOU FEEL as you relax.
  8. CALM THE MIND. Let go of all thoughts. As thoughts come into your mind, just repeat this gentle reminder to yourself “Empty The Mind.” You may want to switch over to a word of your choosing to focus on (mantra) that will help push out other thoughts. Examples of words are Peace, Calm, Rest, Empty, Power, Strength, Love. Any word is fine. In fact the word “OM” can be helpful because it is not attached to other meanings. Whatever works for you is what is best at that moment!
  9. IGNORE NOISES in the same way that you ignore thoughts. Repeat your mantra or “Empty the Mind.” Don’t get mad at noises, just flow with them as if they are waves under your boat of meditation.
  10. OPEN YOUR EYES slowly after about 10-20 minutes. Take a few more deep breaths and stretch again: arms, neck, legs.
  11. AHHHH. Feel the rejuvenation!

Benefits of a “Meditation Nap”

You will feel amazingly refreshed from this exercise. It will give you an increased ability to handle the rest of your day. And you can do this right at your desk, on a park bench, in your car, or anywhere you can find a small bit of peace. I recommend doing this mid afternoon as a “pick-me-up.” It’s a great coffee alternative. It’s also helpful if you are trying to quit smoking. The other time this is especially helpful is the transition time between work and evening when you may be going home to your “second job” of family, fixing dinner, housework, and helping kids with homework. Please try it if you regularly struggle with stressful dinner time. This will CURE that problem. I promise!

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  1. 1
    Psychic advice
    June 6th, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    When I used to work 9 to 5 I would drive to the park for my nap. Now working from home I don’t feel like taking a nap. Is that strange? Nice and informative post.

  2. 2
    June 6th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Would you believe that we actually have nap rooms where I work? While I haven’t used them (I’d rather just go home to sleep), I know of a number of my colleagues that have!!

  3. 3
    June 7th, 2007 at 8:52 am

    This sounds pretty nice .. though for me the hardest step would be to calm the mind, I never seem to be able to let go of my thoughts.

  4. 4
    June 7th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Psychic – I experience the same thing.

    HMG – My sis has sleep rooms at her work too. I was always so jealous of that!

    Dee- yes, calming the mind is the hardest part. For me the key is not getting stressed about it.

    Thank you for all the comments everyone!

  5. 6
    Martijn Dashorst
    June 10th, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I have acquired a license for Pzizz (http://pzizz.com) for this purpose. Though I don’t use it at work, it is a lifesaver for those hours when I’m at home and want to start work on my open source project (http://wicketframework.org).

    The benefit of pzizz is that you can block out external noises, it generates alpha waves iiuc, and wakes you up after the alotted time.

    Please note that I’m not affiliated with Pzizz, just a customer.

  6. 10
    June 10th, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I have benefited so much from the ‘transition’ nap. The day is stressful, the drive home is stressful. By sitting in the car in the drive for about 5 minutes dropping that by the wayside, the transtion to home mode has been so much easier, peaceful, and healthy. By taking these five minutes, I can walk in refreshed and ready for whatever has happened while I was gone

  7. 11
    Dan Davis
    June 10th, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    This sounds a lot like Yoga Nidra which is a conscious deep sleep. During the yoga classes I attend, we are lead through a relaxation exercise where you consciously release tension from the body. Then you focus on each body part: tense every muscle in the body part for a few seconds and then release and forget about it. We start at the legs and move up through the body to the face. Once that’s done, we just relax.

    It is a very strange feeling. Last time I did it, I heard and felt myself snoring, yet I was completely conscious… of the music in the background, of the other students’ breathing, of everything. Yet, when it was over, I would’ve sworn I had been asleep and for a much longer time than we had actually laid there.

  8. 13
    Walter C Mahar
    June 10th, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I think you better set the alarm on your watch.
    If you are that tired falling asleep would be quite easy.
    No boss I have ever worked for would find this “productive” therefore the “bathroom nap, i mean meditiation”. It would be unfortunate to be found snoring.

  9. 14
    June 11th, 2007 at 1:53 am

    thanks for this list,

    i will definitely try it out


  10. 15
    John Kelly
    June 11th, 2007 at 2:56 am

    Decide what time you want to wake up and “chant” that time to yourself

  11. 18
    June 11th, 2007 at 6:47 am

    This is the first time I hear about the “meditation nap”. I’ll try that … thanks for the info, and no I don’t rest my eyes while at work :(

  12. 33
    June 12th, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Sandy – thanks for sharing that testimonial

    Walter – yes, setting your alarm is a good idea.

    Dan – thanks for sharing that experience. Yoga Nidra sounds cool. I hadn’t heard of it before.

    Sameer and Dever – I think you’ll love it. Let us know!

  13. 39
    David Andrews
    June 16th, 2007 at 4:36 am

    I found this cd which works great, called “Power Nap” I got the 30 minute version of it, and most days for lunch I sit out in the car and lay the seat back and listen to it, I always feel great afterwards. It is at meditationstore.net under sleep inducing cds – I will put the link below… if it works..

  14. 47
    subconscious mind
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    i agree, having a nap can really recharge your batteries, i find taking a nap longer than 30mins just makes me more tired, so i usually have a 25-30 min snooze. but when i was at uni i used to have a 2 hour nap!

  15. 49
    Jerad Kaliher
    October 12th, 2007 at 4:04 am

    I’ve always had huge troubles with taking actual naps. I’m going to try this method next time I’m exhausted after a night of heavy drinking. I hope it works as advertised.

  16. 50
    October 16th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Jared – How did it work for you? Thanks for commenting!

  17. 51
    Bill Hatfield
    December 12th, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve been doing this for some time now – I try do it at least once a day. It is very enjoyable and even feels indulgent. I found that I would be distracted about how long I’d been doing it. (I find that I easily loose track of time…) At first I set a timer. Then I began using meditative music and simply noted the song length befor I started and planned for two or three songs. Works great.

    I’ve also found that regular meditation does more than provide energy – it puts me in a more positive frame of mind and seems to make me more tolerant of other people and even more caring (without my actually trying to be!).

    Really great post. Will probably help lots of people. You got happy karma comin’ your way! ;)

  18. 52
    January 13th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Nice post. I’ll have to give it a try sometime (soon!). I’d be really worried about turning the 15 minute nap into a four hour nap.

  19. 53
    Quit Smoking
    January 18th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I love this idea. I’ve been taking short naps at my desk in the late afternoons for a while now. I actually do it when I find my concentration level is dropping regardless of the time of day!

    It really works for me, and I encourage others to try it too.

  20. 58
    February 11th, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Errr… Nap Cafe’s already exist. I’ve seen them all over the country.

    Here’s a story about one: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9881456

  21. 60
    February 19th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    There is a nap room at the gym I belong to, and I work from home so there’s no reason why I can’t grab a snooze … I know how beneficial and refreshing they are, but I normally just can’t fall asleep during the day!

    The idea of a meditation nap? That I love, I could do that. Now it’s just a matter of getting into yet another healthy habit!

  22. 61
    Baby Girl
    February 22nd, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I have never been a person that was able to nod off in the easy chair, on the sofa or even as a passenger in a car. To get any rest, I had to have my head on my pillow in my own bed.

    With three very small children and some stress thrown in for good measure, I found myself very sleep deprived. Knowing my inability to rest spontaineously, my husband recommended that I practice meditation when I was rocking the baby to sleep or when the children were watching television and to my surprise it works for me! I highly recommend it for increased energy and relief from sleep deprivation. So now I’m off to meditate in my baby’s nursery rocker and hope that she will let me get some real sleep afterwards.

  23. 63
    March 3rd, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    @Baby Girl – thanks for commenting. Glad you like the idea!

  24. 64
    March 3rd, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    @supastah – thanks! Glad you like the idea! Have you tried it yet?

  25. 65
    March 6th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for an interesting article, I use brainwave entrainment to relax and de-stress. People interested in your technique my benefit from listening to powerful meditation tracks at the same time. I have some free mp3′s and downloads available on my site.

    Download free meditation MP3s

    Namaste Rob

  26. 66
    dizi videolari
    March 6th, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    The day is stressful, the drive home is stressful. By sitting in the car in the drive for about 5 minutes dropping that by the wayside, the transtion to home mode has been so much easier, peaceful, and healthy. By taking these five minutes, I can walk in refreshed and ready for whatever has happened while I was gone

  27. 68
    March 10th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Nice post. I’ll have to give it a try sometime (soon!). I’d be really worried about turning the 15 minute nap into a four hour nap.

  28. 69
    i want a six pack
    March 16th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Interesting post, gonna give this a try I think, maybe at work tomorow! :)

  29. 71
    April 9th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Yes….calming the mind is the hardest step…

  30. 72
    Mobile Blog
    June 23rd, 2008 at 4:46 am

    This is an excellent idea as many times we feel tires off and exhausted due to heavy work load. I think deep breathing can help you a lot in revitalising oneself. Also streching your body makes you feel better and helps in keeping your mind relaxed and fresh. Thanks a tonne for this wonderful post. Cheers!!!

  31. 73
    June 29th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I think naps are essential. Research has shown that if you take 2 20-minute rest periods per day, it leads to optimal energy levels. Managing stress is about managing your energy levels. I love meditation naps. Self hypnosis can help too.

  32. 75
    July 11th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    @Carol -thanks for that information!

  33. 76
    July 16th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Hey, I really like that. I am an Holistic Consultant and I have seen a lot of people who are always tired for one reason and another (usually multiple reasons). This is a good resource to pass on to anyone, no matter what the source of their tiredness is – I’m glad I found it. Here’s a hubthat I published on Hubpages today with some more helpful tips for tiredness, I hope that helps too.

  34. 77
    July 16th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Oops – that hublink didn’t work did it? Sorry

    Here’s the link: http://hubpages.com/hub/Always-Tired

  35. 78
    July 17th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    @Kate – thanks for joining the conversation!

  36. 82
    November 3rd, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve been taking meditation naps for years! It’s really refreshing to slip into a meeting room for 10-15 minutes and zone out. That getting away from work is really good for my focus.

    Stops that chronic fatigue thing Kate was talking about! (For me at least)

  37. 83
    January 17th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    An Agitated mind cannot think well.meditation relieves all the pressures and makes a man think wisely.

  38. 85
    Danpa Nyee Ma
    April 14th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Working hard makes one person feel extremely exhausted. If you simply don’t know how to relax (the eyes and body relaxation tips mentioned are great and basically represent everything one should know) then he or she might feel suffocated in that work atmosphere and quit that particular job sooner or later. If you ever feel the need to take a nap, just do as it is said in this post :)

    Danpa Nyee Ma

  39. 87
    May 16th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    @Danpa – thanks!

  40. 90
    January 4th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for great idea……..

  41. 92
    Relaxation cds
    July 27th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I personally take an opportunity most days to have my own quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of my work day. Even though my employer would probably frown upon this, they are actually benefiting from it!

  42. 96
    January 6th, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Absolute bliss!!

  43. 97
    Eat and Lose Weight
    March 25th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Taking a nap in the middle of the day is the secret to increasing your energy. However, these naps are not hours long, those only make you more sluggish. These naps should only be about 30 – 45 minutes long.


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