Are you someone who loves taking naps in the course of your day? Well, then you need to know what are the best nap timings to get its maximum benefits.
Nap is a great way to reboot your brain. It’s refreshing if you take at least 1 nap during your day, but benefits occur only if you do it within the recommended timings. Let’s find out what is the best nap timings and their recommendations.
What Is A Nap?
A nap is a short duration of sleep, usually taken in the daytime. Napping during the day is an effective way to recharge, but people take it two different ways. Some people find it really helpful and for others nap leaves them more tiring and of no use.
Naps are mostly initiated due to feeling sleepy during the waking hours. A nap is a form of sleep practice that is biphasic means sleeping twice in 24 hours or you can call it polyphasic means sleeping multiple times in the course of 24 hours.
Not all naps are generated equal, and many factors influence how helpful naps can be taken. By recognizing the role of napping, you can acquire the best nap timings that support your body’s inner clock and maintain your energy level during the day.
Difference Between Napping And Sleeping
The most obvious difference between sleeping and napping in the timings as it will affect your sleep cycle and its duration. During a night’s sleep, the brain goes through 4 stages of the sleep cycle. These include:
- Light sleep.
- Stable sleep.
- Deep sleep.
- REM sleep.
Although the goal of a recommended nap is to re-energize your mind, it still ensures you are not entering REM or deep sleep stages, and only staying in light sleep or stable sleep stages.
On the other hand, sleep occurs within the deep sleep and REM stages, during which your body undergoes the most impactful rehabilitation.
What Are The Different Types of Napping?
Types of naps are categorized on the purpose they assist. For the sake of this article, I am just briefly explaining the top 5 of them.
Recovery naps can be taken for compensation for interrupted sleep or low quality or short duration sleep at night.
As the name suggests they are essential to take. During illness, for example, the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 where you need good nutrition, supplements, and exercise, you have a greater demand for sleep as well. An essential nap can give your body a break and helps the immune system to fight infection as well as promote healing.
This is the type of nap that is taken in advance for coping up with the coming up sleep loss. For example, if you are working night shifts you can schedule your prophylactic naps accordingly.
These naps are often scheduled into the day duration of children/older adults and/or can also occur spontaneously in children of all ages.
Appetitive naps are taken just for the sake of enjoyment. They can be relaxing and can elevate your mood and energy levels.
What Are The Best Nap Timings?
There are many theories on this matter and it is one of the controversial issues as well. Some say that a 10-15 minutes nap is excellent. Others say it’s not. Some study suggests that a 5 minutes nap is very short while others also focus on how a 30 minutes nap is not good for you. But somehow both the above-mentioned studies came to the common conclusion of declaring a 10 minutes nap is good enough for getting the maximum benefits.
Another study suggests that a 10 minutes brief afternoon nap is good enough to rely on if you need an afternoon energy booster. On the other hand, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that 20 minutes will be a decent time to take a nap and alert your mind not more than that.
Benefits Of Napping
The listing below the benefits of napping as per its duration:
10-20 MINUTES NAP
- The most ideal nap length.
- Great for boosting energy and power.
- Keeps you in NREM sleep.
30 MINUTES NAP
May leads to a sleep hangover and feeling lethargic.
Ideal for some people.
But still, if you are taking a nap anywhere less than 25 mins is better.
60 MINUTES NAP
If you have time go for this duration.
It tends to improve your memory and processing of your thoughts as well.
90-120 MINUTES NAP
This is not as such a nap category. Instead, it is a full sleep cycle.
It helps in improving emotional breakdown and memory as well.
There will be no sleep hangover and it will be easier for you to wake up.
Some Tips For Napping
- Always nap after contemplating your sleep schedule. For instance, take an 8 hours gap in between waking up from your sleep and napping.
- Try to take your nap in the mid-afternoons.
- Schedule your naps ahead.
- If you are sleeping only 6-7 hours or less a night, try to take 1 hour or more nap in the day.
- Set up your alarm to wake up at the right time after napping.
In A Nutshell
To be conclusive the best nap timings differ for an individual’s needs and wants. Saying that with all the considerations the best nap timings is anywhere between 10-20 minutes. But if you have a lack of sleep during the night time or if you have more time for napping then go for the options like 60-90 minutes or more.
Either way, try to take at least 1 nap during your daytime and try to take coffee in moderation as it tends to improve your productivity throughout the day, improving your mood and functionality as well.