How to Nap (Without Feeling Exhausted Afterwards)


Do you ever take a nap and wake up exhausted?  I recently was given two unscientific, but still useful tips for avoiding post-nap exhaustion.

  1. Don’t nap for more than 20 minutes at a time.
  2. Nap with a spoon in your right hand.

For the first tip, I’m sure to get a bunch of comments that say the actual number should be 30 or 45, or 13 minutes.  I don’t really care.  Twenty has been a useful number for me, so I’m offering it.

The second tip needs a little explanation.  If you sleep with a spoon in your hand, it’s important to make sure that hand is off the bed (or couch, chair, futon or whatever your napping hideout is).  Then, if you slip into deeper sleep, you’ll drop the spoon and wake up.  This helps you avoid slipping into the deeper phases of sleep which seem to contribute to post-nap fatigue if you interrupt them early.

Of course, this raises the questions of whether naps are even useful to begin with.  I’m a fan of regular 8-hour sleep and emergency-only napping.  Thomas Edison, however, believed in sleeping only a few hours each night and chronic napping.

  • Valeria | TimelessLessons

    Another thing to try is to down a cup of java right before you crash. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in.

  • Kali

    I’ll have to try napping with a spoon in my hand. I don’t know how effective the caffeine-nap experiment would be for me, though..

  • Scott Young


    You’ll be interested to know that this tip came to me via Mark Henry.


  • Amiteshwar

    Thank you, the spoon idea rocks and it works!!

  • cdm021

    why spoon in right hand, could it be in left ? 🙂

  • Scott Young


    No. Never the left. 😉