Catching some zzz’s before heading out can be the difference between a crazy night and a crap night (especially if you’re already running on empty from the night before!). Here’s how to own the pre-party nap
1. Aim to sleep for longer than 45 minutes, but less than 90 minutes. If you sleep for longer, you'll wake up in the middle of a slow-wave sleep cycle, and feel groggy.
2. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, aim for a 20 minute power nap, which is proven to enhance alertness and concentration, elevate mood, and sharpen motor skills. To give yourself an extra boost, drink a cup of coffee before you go to sleep – because caffeine takes 20 to 30 minutes to take effect, it’ll kick in just as you’re waking.
3. Steer clear of sugary food in the hours before your nap and instead, eat or drink something high in protein and calcium (which promote sleep), about an hour beforehand. Yep, your mum was right about that glass of milk all along!
4. Switch on a fan – it’ll produce a type of white noise that can help drown out day-time sounds like construction, traffic and barking dogs.
5. Find a nice dark place (or cheat with a sleep mask!) where you can lie down – science shows it takes up to 50 per cent longer to fall asleep sitting up. Use a blanket, but be aware of the “Goldilocks effect” – you don’t want to be too warm (which can lead to oversleeping) or too cold (you won’t sleep solidly), but rather, “just right”.