Nap Strategies and Benefits
As the workday gets longer and busier, taking a nap can provide the quick energy boost we need to get through the day. However, it's essential to understand the optimal length of a nap to avoid feeling groggy and disoriented upon waking up. In this blog, we'll explore the question of how long should I nap, and provide some tips on how to make the most of your nap time.
The Best Nap Lengths for Adults
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best nap lengths for adults are 20 minutes or 90 minutes. A power nap of 10-20 minutes is enough shut-eye to reap the many restorative benefits of napping, such as increased alertness and reduced stress. Longer naps of 90 minutes allow you to cycle through all sleep stages and leave you feeling thoroughly rejuvenated, more creative, more focused, and more physically energized.
Napping Vs. Sleeping
Napping and sleeping differ in duration and sleep cycles. Naps are meant to provide a temporary recharge to your battery, whereas sleep provides a complete reset. When you fall asleep, your brain naturally moves through four stages of sleep, including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM cycles that repeat on 90-110 minute intervals. To ensure that you get the most out of your nap, you need to avoid entering REM or deep sleep stages and stay in light sleep.
True sleep occurs within the deep sleep and REM stages, during which your body undergoes the most impactful restoration. It's recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to maintain a healthy, high-functioning lifestyle. However, a quick power nap during the day can provide a quick energy boost and help you stay alert.
Tips for Napping
Mastering the art of the power nap takes some know-how and practice. Here are some tips to optimize your nap time:
Keep it Short: Stick to the two recommended nap lengths: 20 minutes or 90 minutes. If you're feeling extra tired, it can be difficult to limit your sleep, but it's imperative to do so should you wish to wake up feeling recharged and refreshed.
Set an Alarm: Setting an alarm for your naps is a total must if you're not used to limiting your nap time. This will better ensure that you stay within the recommended nap lengths. Be sure to consider how long it takes you to fall asleep and factor that into your alarm setting.
Nap During the Early Afternoon: Longer naps, especially after 3 p.m., can mess up your nighttime sleep schedule. It's more beneficial to nap between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Pick a Comfortable Environment: One of the hardest parts of napping can be falling asleep. If you have trouble dozing off, consider using a weighted blanket or cozying up somewhere cool and comfy that makes it easy to drift off into dreamland.
Napping and SleepFit360
SleepFit360 is a comprehensive sleep solution that specializes in providing individuals with personalized sleep coaching and educational resources. Their sleep coaching services are designed to help individuals improve their sleep quality and duration by identifying and addressing underlying sleep issues. Neurobit also provides sleep tracking devices that can help individuals monitor their sleep and identify areas for improvement.
Incorporating SleepFit360 and Neurobit into your nap routine can help you maximize the benefits of napping and improve your overall sleep quality. By tracking your sleep patterns and identifying areas for improvement, you can develop a nap routine that works best for you.
Napping is a great way to recharge and stay alert during the day. However, it's important to understand the optimal duration of a nap to avoid feeling groggy and disoriented upon waking up.