Ever feel like taking a nap in the middle of the day, but fearing it will do more harm than good? How long should the nap take? Is half an hour too much, or could you nap for even more? Well, all of this depends on what kind of tasks you have to do. A nap is like a reboot for your brain, but you have to know how long you should nap and when is the best time to do so.
Now, if you want a quick boost of alertness, you should nap for 10 to 20 minutes at most. This way, you will only be in the lighter stage of NREM (non rapid eye movement) sleep and this will make it easier for you to resume your tasks when you wake up. The worst possible nap length is 30 minutes, as you end up in a deeper stage of sleep and wake up from it; this will leave you groggy and you will need up to another 30 minutes to be able to work again.
If you are learning for an exam, it’s good to take a 60 minutes nap. It helps you remember facts better, as well as places and faces. You will still feel a bit groggy afterwards. Make a coffee before you nap so it’s ready for you when you wake up. If you wish to avoid grogginess after a nap, a 90 minute nap will do you good. This way, you will get a full cycle of sleep – the lighter and deeper sleep phases. It also improves creativity, procedural and emotional memory. Also don’t forget to time your nap – it’s best to take a nap 6 hours after waking up.
So, there you have it – proof that a nap is just as good for you as eating your greens! Go get some Zzzzz’s