Want to feel like an Olympian? Take a nap. No, seriously. Everybody's doing it (everybody being Olympians).
"Ryan Lochte takes a nap every day," nap evangelist and CEO of MetroNaps, Christopher Lindholst told us. He's not wrong; Lochte has talked about his napping schedule on more than one occasion, and told USA Today that swimmers in particular need to take naps because of the intense training schedule.
It's not just the male swimmers either. POPSUGAR spoke with Team USA Olympic Swimmer Cammile Adams, who told us that she makes time for a two-hour nap before her daily strength-training sessions. Besides rounding out an intense training schedule, Cammile told POPSUGAR that naps also help mitigate stress; lack of sleep can compound the feelings of pressure around the Olympics and a rigorous schedule. "Real life is going to be really hard when I have to give up my naps," Cammile added.
While most of us aren't working out 30+ hours a week like these professionals, the benefits that Olympians reap from naps can also help us, the everyday athlete.
- Athletic performance. "When you nap, your memory [and] muscle memory consolidate," said Lindholst. "Practicing an athletic task in the morning and then taking a nap in the early afternoon is a good way to solidify the learning that took place while they practiced." Trying to get better at a new workout or sport? Sleep on it!
- Jet lag. Lindholst told us that naps are an essential travel tip, not just for Olympians. "Short naps are a helpful way of dealing with fatigue," he said."It can take many days to fully adjust to [a] new time zone."
- Stress reduction. As noted with Cammile's napping schedule, the extra bit of sleep is a great way to combat stress. "They support both emotional and physical coping mechanisms," said Lindholst. "This makes dealing with stressful situations easier." Not sure about you guys, but we might need a nap before our next big meeting.
- Anxiety and sleep loss. When Olympians have trouble falling asleep at night because of anxiety, they turn to naps. Lindholst said "naps reduce their sleep debt," which helps them during travel time. If you've been dealing with a bit of anxiety-induced insomnia, consider adding a power nap into your day.
- Overall appearance. Although perhaps not at top of mind while striving for gold, Olympians are on camera seemingly every second. Napping helps keep your appearance fresh — consider that just one more reason to start snoozin'.