Short power naps are a great way to refresh your mind in the middle of the day. They give you a mental boost without making you too groggy. But if you don’t want to use an alarm for your super short snooze fests, you can use this classic nap timing trick instead.
Thomas Edison wearing his favourite sleeping mask. OK, I added that…
A while back I recommended that everyone should make an afternoon routine. Several commenters suggested taking naps as part of their routines and one commenter shared one of their favourite ways to nap:
A teacher in high school told me a story (in response to me napping in his class) about Abraham Lincoln taking naps in a rocker with marbles in his hand. When he got deep enough that his hand would relax, the marbles would eventually fall into a pot, and at that point he would be refreshed enough to continue about his day.
Now, I couldn’t find anything about Lincoln doing this, but other prominent historical figures did. Albert Einstein and Aristotle took these kinds of power naps, and so did Salvador Dali (though he used a key and a plate).
However, the Lincoln story was probably based on Thomas Edison’s version of a power nap. He was famous for his odd sleeping routines and power naps, but he used ball bearings instead of marbles.
If you want to try it out for yourself, here’s how you do it:
- Sit in an upright yet somewhat comfortable chair.
- Hold some marbles, ball bearings, coins, dice, whatever in one of your hands.
- Place that hand over something that would make a loud noise.
- Try to fall asleep.
You’ll slowly fade into a nice slumber for a few minutes, but the moment you actually reach total unconsciousness, your hand will release the marbles or ball bearings and you’ll wake up from the sound of them crashing down.
You’ll feel rejuvenated and you’ll avoid the grogginess that often comes with taking naps that are too long. This kind of setup is perfect for a quick snooze at the office, or on a weekend where you’re trying to stay productive.