By Jack Ross
Summer is officially upon us, which means it’s time to get reacclimated with our favorite afternoon pastime: Napping. But we’re not talking about just any nap. That magical sun-kissed sleep is about to get extra-dozy with these nine nap upgrades.
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Hammocks have knockout powers. They cradle your body so well that you go comatose. That’s probably why your fantasy of an ultimate summer nap includes a hammock. Bonus points if you add a sunset and a white sandy beach for even more blissed-out snoozing.
We know, we know—getting your cardio on might not seem like the most obvious way to step up your nap game, but hear us out. Hitting the pavement for an outdoor walk or jog during the day helps you drift into a slumber with ease, experts say. And it induces slow wave, deep sleep, the kind that rejuvenates your mind and body, so you feel like a well-balanced human: Work hard—pass out harder.
If you’re going to treat yourself to a nap, you might as well treat yourself to ice cream. This beloved frozen dessert can put you in the best of food comas, thanks to the calcium and tryptophan in dairy, which helps your body produce the sleep chemical, melatonin. Just remember not to inhale the whole pint, or your nap may feel more like a sugar crash than a restorative siesta.
Feet often get overlooked in the napping game, but we’re here to advocate for total-body comfort. That means keeping your tootsies as cozy as the rest of your body. Research shows that sleeping in socks can help regulate your body temperature for better zzz’s. Just make sure you keep your soles in breathable fabric.
Queueing up your favorite mellow sounds can be just what the nap doctor ordered. Studies reveal that listening to relaxing music at about 60 beats per minute can slow down your heart rate and relax your mind. Adding that chill soundtrack to your fave outdoor napping spot, like a hammock, is what summer was made for.
Obviously, napping is better with a puppy or a kitten. For one, dozing off is their job and an excellent example to follow for your nap goals. Also, pets are like cuddly Ambien. They can reduce daily stress and prime you for some extra shuteye, experts say. Let your furry friend lead the way to Sleepy Town.
Looking for a new nap adventure? Pack a turkey sandwich (a known nap-friendly food), grab an ice cream cone (see tip #3), and take your zzz’s to a tranquil green space. The sounds of birds chirping and leaves fluttering in the summer sun should be just the thing to get your nap life humming.
There are three reasons why the straw hat is the quintessential summer nap accessory (second only to the hammock). One: It blocks shade WAY better than a baseball cap. Two: It’s way more fashionable than a traditional reflective sun visor. Three: It has that retro look that makes you feel like you’re living in simpler times, when people took life slowly and napped daily.
Whether it’s in the backseat of an SUV or the passenger seat of a train, there’s nothing like the motion of a moving vehicle to rock you to sleep. Plus, it’s the closest to time travel you can get! You start in one place, feeling totally burnt out. Then, one sweet nap later, you wake up in a different environment with a refreshed outlook and attitude. We call it the “nap-in-motion effect.” Last stop? A well-rested, happier you.
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