Naps are good for us, here’s how to have the perfect siesta
From breathwork to herbal remedies, these are the best things to help you sleep in the summer.
words Rhys Thomas
Are you a fan of sleep? Well, it turns out naps are officially good for you! Yup, multiple studies from the likes of Flinders University and University College London have confirmed various benefits to having a little nap in the day. These range from helping with creativity, to brain power, to memory, mood, and alertness.
With that in mind, and considering the heat on our shoulders this summer, we’ve decided it’s time to advocate for siestas in the United Kingdom. In other countries, especially Spain, the working day basically stops for the hottest hours of the day (often from 2pm - 5pm). There’s evidence suggesting that napping is good for productivity, and also that siestas aren’t bad for the economy. It’s all giving four day week vibes to us!
If the idea of taking the hottest part of the day indoors, having a little nap, and then feeling nice and fresh for the evening ahead sounds good to you, then give it a try! Ideally, a power nap should be 10-20 minutes, while a longer one should be around an hour and a half. Anything in between means you enter deep sleep but won’t have enough time for an entire sleep cycle and so you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy.
If you’re wondering just how in 30 degree heat at 2pm you’re going to be able to cool down and switch off enough for a 20 minute nap, don’t worry. There’s plenty you can do. From harnessing herbs to breathing exercises. We’ll explain all below.
moonbird guided breathing tool
If the initial challenge with napping for you is getting your body into a tranquil enough state for those Zzz to start coming out of your mouth and nose, breathwork is your friend. This tool is designed to provide guided breathing, which will ensure you’re taking those deep breaths in the way that’ll most help to calm your nervous system down and eventually help you to drift off into a nap. It’s very small and portable, ideal for travel. The app that comes with the device also has meditation and breathing exercises for things that aren’t sleeping too.
midnight blue silk sleep mask
Now the breathing’s sorted, and you’re drifting off… but the light is a little bright. Even with the blinds down? Don’t worry, stay relaxed. Breath in. The padded, silk sleeping mask from Drowsy Sleep Company is a perfect companion to your siesta. The silk is nice against your face, it wraps around and secures snug so you won’t see the light. Perfect.
rest sleep remedy
Along with controlling breathing and light in the room, sleep-promoting supplements are a great idea. This remedy contains L-theanine, chamomile, valerian root, ashwagandha, peppermint, and 5-HTP all are fantastic sleep compounds. Combined, these will help you to relax and actually boost serotonin while lowering cortisol. An hour before the nap shake the bottle and out a full pipette under the tongue for a minute and then swallow.
unwind and recover mushroom blend
If you want to lean into the cacao culture many siesta cultures love, as opposed to a tincture, this adaptogenic blend is ideal. There’s ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, chamomile, and L-Tryptophan (which is in milk, if you were ever told to drink milk before bed as a kid, this is why) among other sleepy ingredients. It tastes like drinking chocolate and mixes just as well with cold water, if you’re an iced drinks in the summer kinda gal.
wellness (ashwagandha) gummies
We’ve mentioned ashwagandha a couple times now, and that’s because it’s a very good anxiety reducer. An option that is purely ashwagandha, and in tasty elderberry form, is these chewy gummies. Along with the ability to ease tension, ashwagandha has aphrodisiac powers especially good to know if you’re napping before sleeping with someone.
Like that mask we mentioned, silk pillowcases are good for sleep (especially from a beauty sleep perspective). Silk has less friction on skin and hair than cotton, which is ideal if you want a nap and don’t want to have to defrizz your hair badly after it. It’s also not going to absorb all your serums, you could probably even get away with makeup if you really had to!
sleep s.o.s spray
A simple and effective option for sleeping a little better and helping yourself to wind down is to make the room smell vibey, and this spray does so with a little more rigour than just using a nice scent. The spray uses a unique blend of apothecary oils including citronellol, limonene, and linalool. All of them are known to promote sleepiness.
Taking the herbal remedy thing up a notch, these sleep patches were made by one of the UK’s leading acupuncture specialists. You simply add one to each temple say half an hour before going to bed, and keep them on the entire time. They work with the pressure points you place them on, and also via aroma to help you sleep better. There’s five sleeps worth per pack.
This botanical tincture is a bit more natural herb reliant than the previous, if that’s more your thing. Oat straw, chamomile, passionflower, catnip (don’t give it to your cat tho it’s for humans), lavender and ashwagandha are expertly blended to provide a formula you put a pipette of under the tongue et vollà, you will soon be sleepy.
relaxation eye pillow peacock feathers pattern
For something combining a mask and herbal spray, but perhaps not as specialist as using both individually yet more accessible, consider this eye pillow. It’s soft and lightweight, comfortable sitting against your eyes and forehead. The sleepy part is that as well as the fact it darkens the room a bit,it’s filled with lavender so you can breathe in the sleepy plant. These are also great for sound-healing classes and very zen forms of meditation.
And of course, it’s worth having some nice bedsheets! Looks wise, sure, but also bedding made from Egyptian cotton as these are, feels softer on the skin and is also more breathable. It might seem a bit extra but just like the clothing you wear, you’ll notice the difference and simply will not regret it, ever.
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