A Forbes report provides the latest sleep research on the best ways to nap and what to consider health wise as far as a midday doze.
To nap or not to nap: that is the question for those with daytime grogginess. When nighttime sleep is restless, the urge to nod off can be irresistible–at work or anywhere else.
Whether you’re an overt napper or just finally give in, you’ve probably wondered how long a nap is too long and whether napping might be a symptom or cause of a bigger health issue. So here’s some basic guidance from the latest sleep research on the best ways to nap and what nappers should consider health-wise.
As to duration, the scientific consensus is to keep your naps to 20 minutes or fewer. Go much longer and you run the risk of disrupting your biological clock. The after-effect (called “sleep inertia”) is similar to jet lag and can take hours of recovery, and will also interfere with sleeping at night. Since caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, you can toss back a couple swigs of coffee before napping to set an internal alarm clock.
And according to sleep science it’s also best to plan your naps instead of allowing grogginess to creep up on you. This will help regulate your circadian schedule and also prevent nodding off behind the wheel.