by nperez

March 10, 2019

Image of a young woman in the yoga position savasana, with text overlay: Yoga Nidra: The Yogi’s Sleep.

Did you know that the day after daylight savings is National Napping Day?! Yes, it’s true – on Monday, March 11, you have full permission to have yourself a nap. Not that you need an excuse – the many benefits of napping are reason enough (more on those below)!

National Napping Day is not an official holiday, but honestly, who needs it to be? It’s been around since 1999, when William and Camille Anthony invented it.

The couple wanted to help educate people about the power of sleep and how getting just a little extra rest could be beneficial to their health.

This unofficial holiday is generally observed the Monday after Daylight Savings Time, to help people adjust to the new schedule. The Anthonys felt that a little nap would be most beneficial after losing an hour of sleep.

I would wholeheartedly agree.

Anyone who knows me knows that sleep is my jammm and I am a true believer in the nap. I personally take a nap every single day at 11:30am, for 20 minutes.

A big part of that is because I wake up at 4am to teach English online, so if I don’t take a nap, I’m pretty much useless by 2pm. But even if I didn’t wake up so early, I would probably still take a nap because it makes such a difference for me.

And honestly, there is just nothing like feeling exhaustion starting to set it, and giving in to that exhaustion by putting your head on a pillow and drifting off to sleep.

It’s one of the best parts of my day, and hands-down my favorite self-care practice; not just because it feels great, but because there are so many benefits of napping!

Related: Yoga Tools for Sleep

Image of a young woman in the yoga position savasana, with text overlay: Benefits of Napping + Yoga Nidra for Sleep Practice.
Pin now, read + practice later!

Benefits of Napping

Sleep experts have found that the benefits of napping are many!

Physically, naps can aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, enhance your sex life, and improve motor skills and stamina. Mentally, they can increase alertness, boost creativity and memory, reduce stress, and improve perception. Emotionally, they can brighten your mood!

Honestly, I would encourage you to make every day National Napping Day and take a daily nap! And it doesn’t have to take long – my favorite kind of nap is the power nap.

Many experts say 10 to 20 minutes is the ideal nap duration to bolster energy and heighten alertness. Too long a nap can risk grogginess.

A power nap is magical. It’s the most effective way to wake up and refresh your mind when you’re feeling tired and sluggish.

Naps of all lengths have benefits, though. For a quick boost of alertness, the 10-to-20-minute power nap is best.

However, for improving cognitive memory processing, a 60-minute nap may do more good. The downside is that you might feel some grogginess upon waking up (probably best to save these for the weekends).

And lastly, the 90-minute nap aids creativity, as well as emotional and procedural memory.

Yoga Nidra for Sleep

Now, if you’re one of those people who just can’t nap during the day, I have the next best thing – yoga nidra. Or actually, it might be even better than a nap, since one hour of yoga nidra is said to be equivalent to four hours of regular sleep!

Yoga nidra is the practice of yogic sleep. It is a meditation and conscious relaxation practice that brings about complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation.

The practice brings you into a place between wakefulness and sleeping – during the practice you might feel like you drift off to sleep and then come back to consciousness a few times. There’s an ebb and flow quality to it.

If you want to get into the nitty gritty details of yoga nidra, check out the Yoga Nidra Guide linked below. For now, find a quiet, comfortable spot in which to lie down, hit play below, and drift into bliss.

Happy National Napping Day!

Related: Yoga Nidra Guide

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About the author 


I am a yoga teacher who focuses on bridging the gap between what happens on the mat and life off the mat. Yoga is life – it is meant to be lived!

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