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What are Meditation Naps?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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A meditation nap is a period of relaxation which is designed to relax the muscles while calming and clearing the mind. While this is not a nap in the traditional sense of falling into unconsciousness, the meditation nap can be extremely beneficial and refreshing, especially for people who endure a lot of stress. The length of meditation naps can be adjusted to suit a wide variety of schedules, as well, making it an excellent way to stay calm, focused, and productive at work, school, and home. The brief retreat into calmness provided by meditation naps can totally change the feel of a day.

During a meditation nap, people are encouraged to relax all their muscles as much as possible while clearing their minds, and ignoring sounds. They also close their eyes, sinking into a rhythm of deep breathing. After five to 20 minutes, the “napper” comes out of his or her relaxed state and resumes the day. This brief period of relaxation can help someone get through a tough day by clearing the mind for a few minutes to reduce stress.

Meditation has been practiced by people all over the world for centuries, and many studies have been conducted on people who meditate frequently to determine what the physiological and psychological effects of meditation might be. The effects vary, depending on the type of meditation, the frequency of practice, and the length of sessions, but in general, people who meditate seem to be calmer, more relaxed, and better able to focus.

Meditation naps allow people to tap into these traits. One need not observe a particular religious practice or routine while engaging in meditation naps; the goal is simply to cleanse the mind by ignoring stimuli for a brief period of time. Even a brief period of relaxation can make a big difference for everyone from the stressed parents of young children to high powered executives.

Meditation naps can even be undertaken at work, depending on the type of job you have. Most countries mandate break periods during the workday, and you can take advantage of one of these breaks to go to a reasonably quiet place for five to 10 minutes and take a brief meditation nap. You may find that by doing this regularly, you reduce the amount of stress associated with work, and the increased mental clarity could allow you to focus more, potentially facilitating great ideas about your workplace and your life.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Apr 13, 2014

Meditation naps are wonderful. I have never been the kind of person to take actual naps during the day because I can't fall asleep easily. But I can practice meditation naps since they don't actually involve sleeping.

I never knew that simply lying down and closing my eyes for some time could be so relaxing. It's also wonderful for the eyes. Those who work in front of a computer all day must do this, even if it is in their chair. Resting the eyes and breathing in deeply really removes all the tension in the body and mind.

By SarahGen — On Apr 12, 2014

@ddljohn-- Have you tried meditation music, some candles or incense?

It's normal to have difficulty clearing the mind when you have such a hectic life. That's why it's a good idea to use music or aromatherapy to help you during your meditation naps. Also, make sure that you are very comfortable. I would also help to try breathing exercises first, or perhaps a few yoga poses. I've noticed that yoga poses requiring balance help clear my mind.

Just don't give up, keep trying.

By ddljohn — On Apr 11, 2014

I've been trying meditation naps but I can't say that I have been very successful. I have a very hectic schedule and I'm under a lot of stress at work. So I really need to take some time off once in a while, relax and re-focus. But whenever I lie down for a meditation nap, I can't get rid of the million thoughts in my head. My mind just won't stop. So I don't relax as I should. Is there any way to overcome this?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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