Step 1: Pick your moments
Most people start to feel drowsy about 8 hours after they first wake up, which is usually around mid-afternoon. But if you work in an anti-nap environment and are stressing about being away from your desk then you aren't going to be able to get much sleep, so instead try dozing in your lunch hour or coffee break. You could even have a short doze straight after work to give you energy for your post work activities.
Step 2: Eat right
Avoid caffeine for the hours preceeding your nap. This is a stimulant which will stay in your system longer than you think. Foods containing carbohydrates, fat and sugar all make it harder to fall asleep. Try to eat foods rich in proteins and calcium before you want to go to sleep. If you can manage it, drinking a warm glass of milk around an hour before your nap is recommended.
Step 3: Get comfy
In order to get the best possible effects from your nap, you'll need to be comfortable. Come prepared, don't just lie down on your keyboard and doze off, find somewhere appropriate to nap in. If you have to lay on the floor, try and keep a soft mat or blanket with you. Alternatively, there's always parked cars, buses and trains, the office conference room, library or even a quiet area of the park (although be aware of over excited sports games that could be going on).
Step 4: Set the scene
Make sure you have the environment settled before you begin to doze off. Obviously if you're outside you can't turn out the lights but you can cover your eyes to make a calm dark environment. A folded up jumper or hanky can work well for this purpose. Stay away from noisy environments or anywhere you can hear work colleagues or friends chatting. This may tempt you to get involved in the conversation or play on your mind as you are drifting off, causing unnecessary stress. A specially made music selection can work well. This needs to be music that you associate with sleep and will relax your body, so stay away from the pop music or Belgian techno.
Step 5: Time it right
If you are worried about waking up after your nap, make sure you set an alarm, or tell a friend or work colleague where you have gone! If you don't have access to a normal alarm clock the sleep timer on your mobile phone can work just as well. Being late back to your desk or meetings could mean the end of your power naps altogether.
Step 6: Make it routine
Don't worry of you can't fall asleep during the day on your first few attempts. If you body is not used to sleeping at this time of day it can take a while to fall asleep. However, by making it a daily routine you can soon train your body to be ready for short bursts of sleep. If the body is expecting it will also be a more powerful rejuvenation tool. Remember practice makes perfect.