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Nap Time!

In Do, March 2020 by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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To nap or not to nap: That is the question! You may think taking a catnap will make you feel more tired than if you skipped it altogether, but that’s not necessarily true.

Studies have tested a wide range of nap times. For most, it seems between 10 and 20 minutes of sleep is best. Longer naps can cause sleep inertia, or a period of grogginess and reduced performance caused by waking in the middle of deep sleep.

So, what’s the key to waking up refreshed from a nap? 

It’s all about timing. Just 20 minutes is all you need to reap the benefits of napping, including improved alertness, enhanced performance and a better mood. Naps of this length keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it easier for you to get up and go after your snooze session. Be sure to set an alarm so you don’t snooze for too long and wake up all groggy.

There may actually be some benefits to longer naps, too. For instance, the results of a 2019 study indicated that 25-, 35-, and even 45-minute naps significantly reduced signs of stress and fatigue in physically active men. Longer naps also improved their attention and physical performance.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to lie down for 90 minutes, your body should have time to make it through one complete sleep cycle where you go from the lightest stage through the deepest stage of sleep and back again, so you’ll wake feeling refreshed. 

Bonus: Sleeping for this long has been shown to boost memory and creativity.

Happy snoozing…

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