The Optimal Length of a Nap

by Bryan Dewhurst on April 04, 2020

Naps—everybody loves them, and for good reason. Naps can reduce stress, increase alertness, boost creativity, brighten your mood, and of course, help you recharge (thus, power naps).

The ideal nap length varies from person to person due to age, weight, career, lifestyle, schedule, etc. The ideal nap is most likely around 90 minutes, but considering how busy we are with our daily lives, getting 10-20 minute power naps is a more appealing option. Apart from nap length, the time of which you decide to take your nap is also an important consideration. For example: napping 3 hours before bedtime, perse, is basically a recipe for disaster. Taking naps midday, ideally before 3pm will do the trick. The Sleep Research Society found that 10-20 minute naps improve cognitive performance. Note, though, that sleeping for less than this duration may result in restlessness and sluggishness. 

What if I don’t have 10 minutes to spare?

We totally understand why this would be an issue for some, especially to those who work office jobs. If you can’t spare a few minutes to nap, there is an option that will take much less time—getting some sun. Letting natural hit your body will inhibit melatonin production to help you feel more energized until it’s actually time for you to sleep.

If you have the time for a 90-minute nap, though, go for it! It’s the best way to feel rejuvenated in the middle of a long, busy workday. Make sure to set your alarm because sleeping for more than this duration will leave you feeling more sluggish and tired than you originally were.

Aside from the multiple benefits that we’ve talked about, did you know that you can catch up on lost sleep by napping? Taking even a short power nap helps reduce the strain you experienced due to sleep deprivation. It also lessens the amount of sleep your body needs at night.

 

Now that you have sufficient knowledge on naps, try to spare a few minutes per day to re-energize. 

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