According to sleep experts, a well done nap is a boon for your brain and your performance at work but what are the best ways to get some extra snooze? Follow these expert tips for your best nap:
1. Never nap for too long, especially on a week day or a work day. Longer naps are more likely to leave you feeling groggy for up to 30 minutes after waking according to the experts. Ten to twenty minutes is enough to get you refreshed, recharged, and more focused. On a non work day you can handle a little longer but shoot for less than an hour or it could mess with your sleep at night.
2. Don’t snooze too close to bed time. Late day naps sap your ability to go to sleep at night. There’s no exact best time of day for a nap but research says that between 1 and 4pm makes the most sense for our body’s circadian rhythm.
3. Anywhere you can get comfortable is fine for a nap whether it’s a plane, desk, or chair. Some may need a dark quiet place but if you’re fine on a subway seat go for it. Staying at least partly upright is a trick to helping keeps naps short. Studies suggest lying down makes you more likely to fall deeper into sleep.
4. If you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia don’t nap! Naps will only make your disorder worse at night.
5. If you find yourself having dreams during short naps it’s a sign you’re not getting enough sleep at night. Dreams mean you’re falling fast into REM stage sleep which you aren’t supposed to reach until the end of each 90 minute sleep cycle.
6. Lastly, napping shouldn’t be a substitute for a full night of sleep. Ideally we would all get enough sleep at night and wake up feeling rested enough to not need naps at all.