One of the most common questions we get on napping is “how long should I nap?” Find out what the optimal sleep cycle for your body is so you can maintain peak levels of alertness and cognitive functioning throughout the day.
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In this article:
- Why a Good Sleep Cycle Is Very Important
- How Long Should I Nap?
- When’s the Best Time to Nap?
- Benefits of Napping Regularly
- How to Nap Properly
How Long Should I Nap? All Your Questions Answered!
Why a Good Sleep Cycle Is Very Important
Everyone loves getting a good night’s rest or relaxing afternoon nap, but exactly how important is sleep? Sleeping plays a key role in our lives and ensures our body is in good condition.
The main reason why sleeping is that so important is our cells regenerate while we’re asleep. If you don’t get enough rest, you might suffer physical and mental consequences such as:
- Lower libido levels
- Poor skin health
- Weaker immune system
How Long Should I Nap?
Some only need a few minutes of rest before they’re up and ready to continue with their day. Meanwhile, others still struggle with daytime sleepiness even after two to three hours of nap time — and it’s not their fault!
Up until now, there has been no rule that limits the length of your power nap, so most people end up sleeping to their heart’s content. However, if you really want to maximize the energy boost from your power nap, you need to find out what the ideal nap length is.
Generally, the perfect nap length depends on a case-by-case basis. They vary based on how you’re feeling at the specific moment that you want to rest.
- 20 Minutes: The ideal nap time for those feeling slightly groggy is around 10-20 minutes. A light sleep will give you the increased energy you need to stay awake, improve alertness, and focus on your task at hand.
- 60 Minutes: Now, if you’re feeling tired, didn’t get quite a good night’s sleep, and sense daytime sleepiness kicking in, you can try sleeping for around 60 minutes. Doing so will help clear your mind and get your focus back.
- 90 Minutes: For individuals suffering from sleep deprivation and cannot stay awake, you need to catch a quick 90-minute snooze. Napping for 90 minutes will not only get rid of your fatigue, but it’ll also boost creativity and stimulate learning enhancement.
When’s the Best Time to Nap?
Unless you time your napping properly, you might end up risking your sleep schedule.
For best results, those who wake up at around 6 A.M. can try napping at around 1 P.M. after lunch. Meanwhile, those who wake up a few hours later can take a power nap at 4 P.M.
As a general rule, avoid napping beyond 5 P.M. or you might have trouble sleeping later that day.
Benefits of Napping Regularly
Those who have the luxury of napping know just how wonderful it is to curl up into a ball and snuggle your favorite blanket in the middle of the day for a quick snooze. The nap may only last a short while, but trust us, the benefits it provides are long-term.
Some people think that working for hours without resting is the best way to be productive. But in reality, their work actually suffers when they’re sleep-deprived.
A better approach would be to manage your time wisely by dividing your day into different sections. When it’s time to work, make sure you don’t get distracted by anything. Then, when it’s time to rest, you can take the break you need.
Plus, napping can improve your mood quickly. Combining stress with sleep deprivation is a surefire way to lose your mind.
How to Nap Properly
Getting a good nap isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some common problems include:
- Lack of Time: For a lot of office workers, their days are so hectic that they can’t snooze even for just five minutes.
- Trouble Sleeping: Some have the time, but they can’t seem to fall asleep. What happens is they just lie in bed for the next 20-30 minutes with their eyes closed.
- Can’t Wake Up: There are people who choose not to rest because they know they’ll have trouble getting up. These are usually the ones who plan a 20-minute power nap, fall asleep, and then wake up three hours later when the sun has already set.
These issues are very common and resolving them isn’t that hard. Some tricks you can try include:
- Drinking coffee or energy drinks with caffeine before napping. This is perfect for those who can’t wake up from an afternoon nap.
- Making the area darker. You can try using thick, heavy colored curtains for your room.
- Stretching prior to your power nap. Doing a few stretches will stimulate blood flow and help you relax faster.
- Not napping. Don’t force yourself to doze off if you really can’t fall asleep. It’s 100% normal to have days where your energy levels are at a peak for extended hours.
Squeezing a 20- to 30-minute power nap in the middle of your day is a quick, effective way to improve alertness and focus. But don’t forget to get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep at night.
Regular napping will never replace a healthy, regular sleep cycle.
If you’re still having trouble falling asleep, try supplementing with Chill Pill by Dr. Seeds. It’s a fast-acting pill that can ease anxiety in just a matter of minutes.
This is perfect for those who suffer from insomnia and nighttime anxiety often.
How long do your naps usually last? Share your sleeping habits with us in the comments section below!