A Sleep Expert’s Advice on Taking the Perfect Nap
Not everyone takes a daily nap, but this morning show radio personality sure does. My day starts when my alarm goes off at 3:25 a.m. each weekday morning. By the time I get home from work and have some lunch, I'm spent! Fortunately for me, I've got just enough time to get a nap in before I need to pick my kids up from school. But how long should a nap last? Are short naps better than longer ones?
Sleep researcher Dr. Jeffery IIif has released a new video in which he explains why the length of your nap is so important. Basically, if you choose to lay down for a nap, you have two options for the length of that nap. You could do a shorter nap, at around 20 to 30 minutes. Or if you need to rest a longer amount of time, you can do a 90-minute nap. Why those lengths of time? It has to do with your sleep cycle.
Dr. IIif explains that if you take a short, 20-minute nap, you won't go into a deep sleep, and you'll wake up feeling refreshed. If you opt for the longer, 90-minute nap, you'll only complete one sleep cycle and you'll wake up feeling good. So why after some naps do you wake up feeling MORE tired?
Dr. IIif says that is because of something called sleep inertia. If you nap too long, your brain begins to cycle down and think that you're going to sleep for a long period of time. Then when you try and wake up, you feel tired, groggy, and worse than you did earlier! I've had this happen before, and it can take a half an hour or more to snap back to life! So remember that longer isn't always better when it comes to that daily nap!