Having just risen from the crypt of a two hour nap, this is the perfect time to write to those wishing to become a pro-napper like myself. One hour is too short for me; one and a half minimum is all I’ll settle for. (Just as I’m writing this, I’m beginning to realise that I am becoming slightly addicted to naps.) With my fingers still clumsy with tiredness and my eyes blurry with sleep, I give you my top 7 nap tips for getting the best out of the time you have.

1) Inform All Household Members:
If you’re a light sleeper, like me, and want a truly uninterrupted nap, you must tell everyone that lives in your house. This includes everyone there at the conception of your nap and anyone that could be coming home during your nap. Everyone. Must. Know. You don’t want to be woken up by the sound of the front door banging closed, frighten the SHITE out of ye!

2) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
Like any athlete, you need to hydrate before exertion and after. Waking up after an out-cold nap will be tough on your body, so you must fill it with the nourishment it needs. Water will be a life-saver; without drinking enough water before hand, waking up will feel like having a hangover of grogginess.

3) Set The Mood:
Although this seems like a simple one- we need darkness to sleep so make your room dark. But sometimes we fall asleep by mistake and next thing you know you wake up and it’s pitch black outside and you’re questioning the futility of your own existence and what day it is. That is not a nice feeling.

4) Watch Something (Not Necessarily) Boring:
I find that when I slap on an old episode of Gilmore Girls or an old animation film that I’ve seen one hundred thousand times it sends me right off to counting sheep faster.

5) Keep Everyday Clothes On:
I know this is a weird one but I find that when I get changed into my pyjamas to have a nap, the pressure is worse than the Leaving Cert. Wearing your PJ’s is definite. It means you are going to sleep and that’s final. But what if you can’t go to sleep? What if you stay in this horrible limbo of rest and sleep? You’ve failed, the pressure was too much and you couldn’t do it. So to avoid the guilt and embarrassment of failing to do the number one thing in life, I just keep my clothes on.

6) Set An Alarm:
This point links to point 3. Unless you haven’t a care in the world and don’t mind if your nap takes you into the next century, then skip this point. But if you’d like to wake up while you’re still young, set an alarm. This will save you from the shit yourself moment of waking up when it’s dark.

7) Take Your Time When Rising:
Waking up from a nap is like waking from a 10 year coma except there’s no Dr McDreamy standing over you waiting for your arrival back to the land of the living. So the worst thing you can do is stand up straight away. Take your time, sip your water and stretch your muscles. Getting back to things could be detrimental to your recovery. Forcing your body too far will damage your soul. Unless you want your clumsy fingers to slip off the door handle to then in turn walk into the door (yes, I did that) give yourself the time you need to wake up.

Laura Kelly