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the writing life: taking a coffee nap

i usually get up early, around 5 or 5:30. while i’ll share more about that — and how that came about — ¬†at another time, today i wanted to chat about one of the inevitabilities of waking up before dawn: sometime around midday, i’m beat. unfortunately, the rest of the world, or at least the u.s., hasn’t quite hooked into the idea of the siesta, at least the two-hour-nap-in-a-hammock kind. so, what i’ve been training myself to do is to take a nap.

the challenge is figuring out how long to nap. There’s a sweet spot between a snooze and conking out for the rest of the afternoon. studies vary between which is better — a short power sleep or a full rem cycle. when i’m barreling towards a deadline and know i’ll have to write late in the day and on into the evening (something i usually find impossible), i’ll grab my chance for an hour and a half. That resets my brain and allows me to get in another 4-5 hours of writing. but most days, when afternoons will be full of errands and office drudgery and meetings and then evening plans, the most time i can scrounge up is a little over a quarter of an hour. which is where the coffee nap comes in. the idea is to have a tiny bit of caffeine just before you hit the hay. twenty minutes later, i’m buzzed enough to face the rest of my day — my bulging inbox, my call sheet, revising my to do list — with renewed vim and vigor.

since i love my after lunch espresso, this works perfectly for me. now, if i can just get over the guilt about taking a time out in the middle of the day…

try it: coffee nap

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