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I worked for a very small startup in London that embraced napping as part of their culture, some 8 years ago. It worked wonders (provided that you napped for 15-30 minutes at a time and didn't pass out for an hour or two). We even had a dark storage room with a sofa that was the designated nap area.

Fast forward to the current day. That company no longer exists (it was acquired), but the co-founders went on to create another company that is doing very well. I made the decision to go freelance at the end of last year and as fate would have it I am currently working for the new company. Napping is still encouraged. They're one of the most productive, driven teams that I've ever had the pleasure of working for.

Napping is good.

How do you ensure that you sleep exactly 15-30 minutes, when falling asleep could take anywhere between 0-30 minutes?

It's tricky, but there are a few options.

- Gold standard: this is a perfect use case for sleep tracking. "Wake me in the sooner of 1 hour or 30 minutes of sleep".

- Upper bound timing. If I can't start a nap within 15-20 minutes, it's probably one I don't need. So a timer set for 35 min would suffice to get me some reasonable duration. This fails if you might need 30+ minutes.

- Caffeine naps. Drink a cup of coffee, start your nap, you'll be up in <40 minutes as the caffeine hits. This doesn't guarantee you'll get a lengthy nap, but it helps ensure you don't wake up groggy.

- Practice. I struggle to nap currently because it's not routine, I usually can't sleep quickly unless I'm exhausted. But I spent a good 6 months getting healthy sleep amounts with a daily nap, and I was usually out within 5 minutes when it was expected.

Glad to see I'm not the only one using the "Caffeine nap." I was lucky enough to work in a place that actually had a dedicated nap room that I utilized regularly. It was a holdover from the old astronomy days when astronomers would spend long hours on site to complete their research.

do you feel ok afterwards? coffee makes me sleepy sometimes, somehow, but sleeping on caffeine doesn't make me refreshed at all.

Do you have AD(H)D? Caffeine-induced sleepiness (or non-stimulation) is a pretty distinctive sign of that. If so, I'd discount all caffeine-related tips from people who don't.

But in any event: if the coffee has affected you, you're already too late. The idea is to sleep immediately after consuming your caffeine, then wake up as/before it starts to affect you. If caffeine makes you sleepy instead of wakeful, that's probably going to be less pleasant because you won't wake up refreshed.

Finally: I suspect the sleep is helping but feeling useless. Adenosine is one chemical that makes you feel sleepy, and levels are reduced while you sleep. But caffeine is an adenosine blocker, so it's going to stop you feeling that adenosine sleepiness without disposing of it. Good sleep while caffeinated is probably hard to get, but if you succeeded I expect you would lower adenosine levels, but not feel the difference until the caffeine wore off.

I prefer to pretend that I don't have anything to diagnose, it's some "irrational personality" quirkiness, but yeah, my attention span is extremely short, 10 minutes on the single task, which is kinda a problem in programming world. Maybe. I don't feel sleepiness every time I drink coffee, it's highly correlated with how tired I am, but I feel changes in my body and mood almost before I finish the cup. I didn't realize that some people can get a nap before caffeine kicks in before that post.

When people talk about napping (as in this article, and these discussions), when someone says "nap for 30 minutes" do they mean actually SLEEP for 30 minutes?

Sometimes it can take me 30 minutes just to get to a point, where I might fall asleep! And another 10 to actually fall asleep!

So are these articles actually advocating that someone like me should "nap" for a total of 70 minutes? (40 to fall asleep mid-day, 30 actually sleeping)

As someone who was in sleep therapy for chronic insomnia, the golden rule is if you can't fall asleep in 20min or less, get up. You aren't doing yourself any favors by lying in bed frustrated for an hour or more.

The most dangerous thing related to sleep hygiene is creating unpleasant associations with sleep and your bed. If you're lying in bed for long periods getting pissed off, anxious, etc... Your brain will remember these emotions next time you're trying to get some rest and they will keep you from sleeping.

It sounds like hippy shit but it's super important to think of your bed like a fluffy cloud of dreams and wonders. Don't do anything in your bed except sleep & fuck or you will start associations that won't help.

Yes, 30 minutes nap.

It takes practice, routine and the actual need for a nap, to fall asleep immediately, though.

I'm pretty sure they mean lie down for 30 minutes. I'll often only get a brief period of mental shut down on a 35 minute timer, but it helps a lot. Think of it as rebooting your machine :)

Also, you can learn to fall asleep faster with practice.

I have no idea how to practice that... Any resources you might recommend?

It's way easier after you eat. Or at least it's way easier after I eat.

I might be sleep deprived, but sometimes I'll go to the car for 15 minutes and be pulled out of a deep dream by the time the timer goes off.

Even if I don't fall asleep, just focus on your breathing, slow in slow out, and try to bring yourself back to that focus if your mind ever wanders. You'll likely be more rested regardless of whether your actually fall asleep.

According to the book 'Night School' by Richard Wiseman, just lying down for a nap, even if you don't manage to sleep, is still beneficial.

When you get into some routine it's pretty predictable. I like the pzizz app for timing and nap enhancement.

If you just set your timer for when you want to wake up and close your eyes, you'd be amazed how quickly you can doze off. For me it helps if it is dark, quiet, and cool.

Its all part of learning to listen to your body. My body tells me when it needs a nap, my thinking process gets cloudier, I have a harder time focusing. Time for a nap!

I can usually go to sleep with 5 minutes, if I can't, then I don't need a nap!

I set a timer for 20 minutes and get up when it goes off regardless. Sleeping for 30 minutes or more makes me feel tired when I wake up, and takes much longer to recover.

Was it called The Twentieth Century Motor Company?

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