Whether you're a stay-at-home parent, a door-to-door salesperson, or working in an office, you've most likely experienced an afternoon slump on more than one occasion.
It usually strikes shortly after lunchtime, and even if you've had your usual cups of coffee earlier in the day, the dreaded drop in energy can still hit you hard.
Forget being productive because the only thing you'd want to be doing at that point is sleeping.
This is exactly why in certain parts of the world, like Southern Europe, people take a break from whatever they're doing in the middle of the day to relax and take a short nap, often called a "siesta."
Sleep experts have found that taking an early afternoon nap comes with benefits like increased productivity and creativity, a boost in alertness, and an improved mood that lasts for the remainder of the day.
However, it's important to know how long to sleep, otherwise you will be waking up feeling even worse.
Sleeping for 45 minutes or less is optimal, but sometimes it's hard to control just how long you've dozed off for, but there's a tried and true method you can use that doesn't involve loud alarms.
The best part about this trick is that you can do it anywhere (yes, even at your desk at work) to help you feel refreshed. Remember, if your boss complains, just tell them that science says you'll be much more useful after your cat nap. Otherwise, just do it while you're on break.
According to Lifehacker, the trick, which involves a handful of marbles, has been a go-to for historical figures like Albert Einstein, Aristotle, and Thomas Edison. One reader claimed that even Abraham Lincoln was a fan of this tactic.
"A teacher in high school told me a story (in response to me napping in his class) about Abraham Lincoln taking naps in a rocker with marbles in his hand. When he got deep enough that his hand would relax, the marbles would eventually fall into a pot, and at that point, he would be refreshed enough to continue about his day.”
To give the "marble drop" technique a try, find a comfortable chair to sit on, place a couple of marbles, or even rocks, in your hand and hold them in a tight grip. Next, let your arm fall to the side of the chair, and make sure there's an object or surface below that will make a loud noise when struck. Go ahead and let yourself fall asleep.
As soon as you start to enter the stage of sleep where you lose consciousness, your grip will loosen and the marbles will fall, hopefully causing enough noise to jolt you awake. It'll be the only time that you don't have to worry about losing your marbles.
This trick works because it helps you wake up before you hit the 90-minute mark where you enter into REM sleep. Instead of over-sleeping and feeling groggy when you wake up, you'll feel energized and ready to get back to whatever you were doing before.