Have you ever woken up from a long nap and felt worse than when you fell asleep? You probably slept longer than experts recommend and fell victim to “sleep inertia” or the grogginess and disorientation that follows when you wake from a deep sleep.
If you’re finding yourself napping regularly, you probably aren’t getting enough nighttime sleep and may want to adjust your schedule by going to bed earlier. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night (although some individuals need less and others need more).
Researchers recommend a 10-minute nap as the ideal time to reap the benefits and wonders of improved mood, alertness and performance.
Seriously? Just 10 minutes? Yep. Study after study bears out this amazing sleep fact.
So, here’s how to take a nap that helps:
- Keep it short and under 30 minutes. If you sleep from 10-30 minutes, you’ll be in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and avoid the heavy sleep that can make you disoriented upon waking. REM sleep is the most restorative phase of the sleep cycle.
- Nap between noon-4pm. Too early, and you’re not tired enough. Too late, and you can impair your nighttime sleep.
- Use an eye mask with earplugs or white noise. Download the UA Stressbusters Wellness App for a big selection of audio tracks to help you sleep as well as stress reduction tips, podcasts, and videos.