But taking a nap during the working day is not that easy. If you just go to bed or the couch and hope for the best, you may be sleeping too long and missing a call or meeting. Sleeping too long during the day can also backfire later‘at night. If you are looking for a nap that will leave you feeling refreshed and not ruin your sleep later, the best kind of nap is a power nap.
What is a power nap?
“Power naps are generally considered to be a 20 or 30 minute nap. If you have trouble getting through the second half of the day or if you sometimes feel sleepy, taking these naps can really help you stay alert. in addition to or instead of using coffee or other forms of caffeine, ”says Dr. Deirdre Ann Conroy, a behavioral sleep specialist at the University of Michigan.
Conroy cautions that power naps are not a good idea for everyone, especially those who have difficulty sleeping at night or have insomnia. “Napping during the day can really disrupt the quality of sleep you get at night. That’s why we usually recommend that people who have trouble falling or staying asleep don’t nap during the day,” says Dr. Conroy.
How to take a power nap
If you have no sleep problems orand want to try power napping, follow the tips below from Dr. Conroy on how to take a power nap when you’re feeling sleepy or want a quick energy boost.
Set an alarm for up to 20 to 30 minutes
It may not seem like much, but 20-minute naps are the good place to keep you feeling awake and not groggy. Dr. Conroy recommends setting an alarm to make sure you don’t snooze for too long. “When we think about our sleep cycle, we tend to go into very deep sleep stages after about 20 to 30 minutes. And so you don’t really want to have a long sleep period in the middle of the day. You can feel better after about 20 to 30 minutes. 30 minutes lighter sleep stages, ”says Dr. Conroy.
Staying in the lighter stages of sleep during your nap is key to making you feel better, as waking up suddenly from deep sleep during the day (or anytime) can be upsetting and leave you feeling less well-rested .
Take a nap earlier in the day
The time of day you take your nap is just as important as limiting how long you sleep. If you take a power nap too late in the day, you run the risk of wasting your sleep later that night. No matter how tired you are, you’ll want to prioritize solid sleep at night over a shorter nap during the day.
In terms of an ideal time frame, Dr. Conroy that this can vary because “internal clocks are all different. I’ve heard people say no [to nap] after 5pm, but my 5pm may be different from your 5pm. So I just like to keep it general, like early in the day or evening time, whatever that is for you, ”says Dr. Conroy.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.