A nap is one of the healthiest ways to stay active and alert to restore your energy in the middle of the day.
Benefits of a nap sleep
“Naps can help you feel energized, alert, and relaxed,” said Michelle Dreyrup, MD, a psychologist and behavioral sleep disorder at the Cleveland Clinic.
She added that for some people with sleep disturbances, daytime naps may be a scheduled part of their treatment plan, but healthy sleepers can also benefit from midday naps.
The benefits of a nap include:
improve the performance
A short daytime nap can eliminate drowsiness, and various studies have found that naps can increase alertness, speed up reaction time and improve logical thinking abilities.
Boost your memory
Are you trying to learn a new skill? A nap may be just what you need Researchers have found that people who learn new tasks remember them better after a short nap.
One study found that people who took an hour-long nap remembered new information better than others, and people who took naps remembered information better after a week.
Help you cope with frustration
Naps can help relieve stress and may even alter moods. Research has shown that after a midday nap, people are less impulsive and can better deal with frustration.
How long should a nap be?
“For most people, a 15- to 30-minute nap is the best midday sleep strategy,” Dr. Dreyrup said. “This is long enough to feel refreshed, but not so long that it transitions into deeper stages of sleep or affects your sleep the next night.”
Dr. Dreyrup said long naps can cause two problems:
Sleep inactivity. If you wake up from a nap feeling groggy, the cause is a phenomenon called sleep inactivity, especially if you sleep for a long time. When we sleep, we move through different stages of sleep. The later stages of sleep are deeper – and harder to wake up from.
Insomnia. If you sleep a lot during the day, you may find it difficult to fall asleep at night and then wake up tired and tend to take another long nap the next day.