With Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution taking over the world (including JetBlue terminals, cards in Marriott Hotels, and countless appearances), I’ve been thinking a lot about my sleep routines, but I’ve also been thinking about Huffington’s hustle (perhaps that could be the title of her next book: Huffington’s Hustle). This gal knows how to sell a book. All the hard work paid off, of course, Huffington rightfully found her place on the New York Times Bestseller list (again).
For many years I have shared sleep to be one of my favorite success tips. My body is the vehicle to my dreams, and I need to fuel it and care for it. Many years I got by on 6 hours of sleep a night – I can’t do that anymore. I crave 7-8, but my secret really isn’t a good night’s sleep. My secret is power naps.
This all started back in 2005 when I was working for then Novell (now MicroFocus) in Provo, Utah. It was my first big corporate job, I had only worked for small businesses up to this point. It was also the first time there were beds in “quiet rooms”. Surprised that my company welcomed the occasional nap (during breaks and lunches, of course), I decided to give it whirl. It took a bit to find comfort on disposable pillow cases, but I soon found my ideal power nap formula.
- 1. Hair Prep – To avoid flat hair, lift your hair up one inch below the crown. (This also works on airplanes, and taking a power nap in a chair or recliner.) I love being able to go back to my desk and my hair doesn’t share where I’ve been for 33 minutes. (Gentlemen, count your lucky hairs that you can skip to number 2.)
- Set The Alarm – The magic number for a nap really is 30 minutes, so I would give myself 33 minutes. 3 minutes to fall asleep and 30 minutes to actually sleep.
- Dark – Sleep in a dark room. If there is light pollution, find something to put on your eyes. I don’t put eye masks over my hair (see number one), but a small washcloth or piece of fabric will do. If you’re blessed to have a health room in your building, keep one in your desk. At home, I use an old infant bib and it’s perfect!
- Listen To Your Body – Consider that if you need frequent naps, you may need to find out what else your body needs. Do you need better nutrition? Is your body trying to sleep off fast food or too much sugar? Do you need more exercise? Even a 30 minute walk can be just as rejuvenating as a nap, and it helps brain function and energy. Don’t get me wrong, sleep for the win, but there are other things that you can and should do for optimal body health and vitality.
As an entrepreneur with a home office (and when I travel to speak, my office is an airplane, or a hotel room or a conference room…) naps are easier than even my corporate days. You can see some pictures snapped of me sleeping on planes, and even in the middle of an event. In March of this year, I was part of the World Hopecast. We broadcasted LIVE for 60 hours straight. I has shifts in the middle of the night and during the day, and MULTIPLE power naps were needed during the day to keep me going.
If nothing else, I’m glad that Huffington has started a conversation that I think every successful peak performer needs to remember: it’s not about who can go the longest on the least amount of sleep, and what you can get done before you crash into bed. It matters that you get the sleep that you need for your body and your brain to operate at it’s prime.
Whether you need a full Sleep Revolution or simply a sleep adjustment I hope that you’ll consider how new sleep habits and patterns will help you fuel your amazing body as a way to accomplish your goals and dreams.
If you like this tip, I’m full of more! Check out the Make It Happen Toolkit here. www.speakmichelle.com
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