Getting enough sleep and getting good quality sleep are essential for your physical health, mental health, safety, and your overall quality of life. However, there are many who do not get the sleep that they need each night. While establishing good sleeping habits is the best long-term solution, that doesn’t help you with the fatigue that you’re battling today. A nap may seem like the best option, but are naps good for you, or are naps bad for you?
Are naps good for you or bad for you?
You may have heard that it’s not good to take long naps in the middle of the day. If sleep is good for you, how could it be that naps are bad for you?
Taking a nap isn’t bad in and of itself, and a nap can actually do you a lot of good.
If you have trouble thinking, focusing, or staying awake, a short nap could help you. Naps can reduce stress and help you relax. They can make you feel better, improve your mood, and reduce fatigue. Naps can even help improve mental acuity and cognitive ability.
Naps can have the opposite affect for some people, however. Some find that they are disoriented and have trouble focusing after waking up from a nap. This groggy feeling is known as sleep inertia. Some people also find that napping during the day means that they will have trouble sleeping at night.
Identify how naps affect you. Make note of the time that you take your nap, how long you sleep, and how much sleep you got the night before, as all of these things that factor into how your nap makes you feel.Naps affect people in different ways. It also depends on how long you sleep and what time you take your nap. Click To Tweet
Napping the right way
There are things that you should and should not do when nap time rolls around.
You need to nap at the right time of day.
Napping later in the day is more likely to cause sleep problems at night. Try to avoid napping within six to seven hours of when you plan on going to sleep. The earlier you nap, the better.
Take short naps and avoid long naps.
A 15-minute nap should be enough to have you feeling refreshed. Keep naps under 20 minutes. Longer naps are more likely to cause sleep inertia and negatively affect your quality of sleep at night. Some people swear by the “Caffeine Nap”: drink a cup of tea or coffee and take a nap right away. In 15 to 20 minutes, the caffeine will kick in and you’ll wake up refreshed.
Find a good napping place
Good sleep hygiene is as important when you nap as it is when you go to sleep at night. If possible, take naps in a dark, comfortable room without lights, sounds, or other distractions.
Stick to a routine
Some people benefit from routine naps. Scheduling regular naps mean that you work with your sleep cycle rather than against it. If napping every day isn’t an option for you, try to nap only when you need it.
Don’t rely on naptime
Naps can give you a little extra energy and focus late in the day, but it’s best not to rely on a nap. The best thing to do is to establish good sleeping habits. Get enough sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. Create a good sleep environment: one that is dark, cool, comfortable, and free of distractions. Read 7 Sleeping Tips for A Good Night’s Rest for more ideas.
It’s normal to feel tired or sleepy from time to time. It’s not normal to feel tired and sleepy all of the time. If you constantly feel tired and deprived of sleep without any clear explanation, talk to your doctor or a sleep medicine doctor.