- Either take a power nap of less than 30 minutes or sleep longer than 90 minutes. Anything in between will make you groggier when you wake up.
- Avoid long naps after 3 pm, which may mess up your sleep schedule.
- Daytime nap improves alertness, focus, decision-making, memory, and mood.
- It can reduce stress and increase workplace performance.
- In athletes, a nap can improve physical endurance and reaction time.
- A study found that napping can lower the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease.
- A typical sleep cycle involves 20 to 30 minutes of light sleep, 20 to 40 minutes of deep sleep, and the final 30 minutes of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. At night, the body cycles through these stages multiple times.
- If the body is woken up from either deep sleep or REM sleep, the person feels groggy, and his physical ability may stay low due to ‘sleep inertia’. So one should wake up from an afternoon nap while in the light sleep stage, which means a power nap should be shorter than 20 to 30 minutes.
- If sleeping longer, completing a sleep cycle of 90 to 120 minutes and waking up in the following light sleep cycle is better.
- However, taking a long nap after 3 pm will disrupt the night sleep schedule. So don’t take long naps late afternoon unless you have a severe sleep deficit.
To Read More
- NIOSH, CDC: NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
- Inc.: The Power Nap Is a Productivity Superpower. Fortunately, It’s One You Can Learn
- Forbes: 8 Steps To Make Catnapping At Work Boost Productivity and Career Advancement
- Sleep Foundation: Napping: Benefits and Tips
- MedicineNet: Is a 2-hour Nap Too Long?
- SleepScore Labs: How Long Should a Nap Be?
- The Sleep Doctor: How Long Should You Nap?
- On this Website: 14 signs of sleep deprivation that you may miss
- On this Website: Are you suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness?
First Published on: 16th May 2023
Image Credit: Polina Zimmerman on Pexels