Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Jun

The Definitive Guide to Napping

In most Western nations, napping is a sign of weakness. Those who do it — or, even worse, need it — are slothful wastes of resources who can’t hack it in the “real world.” They lack grit, determination, and stick-to-itiveness. They’re getting old. Why nap when you can put in more hours, be more productive, make (your employer) more money? Naps are for babies and senior citizens and other non-productive members of society. They simply aren’t tolerated in able-bodied adults.

Yeah: as much as people are willing to pay lip service to the importance of a solid eight hours every night (actually sleeping that many hours is another thing entirely), most do not seriously entertain the value of napping. That’s a real mistake, because not only do humans have a long and storied tradition of snoozing in the middle of the day, there are also huge benefits to naps. Far from being anti-productivity wastes of time, a well-timed nap can boost cognitive function, improve work output, and make you healthier, happier, and a better employee (and person).

We are time-strapped to a historically unprecedented extent. The vast majority of available evidence suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors enjoyed ample amounts of leisure time. Now, extant hunter-gatherer groups aren’t perfect representations of prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups on every aspect of diet and lifestyle, but I’d argue they offer illustrative examples of ancestral leisure time. The ones who’ve survived till now have been pushed off ancestral lands onto marginalized ones, often with fewer resources and requiring greater time commitments for the same return. Yet even people like the Hadza of Tanzania “work” only about four hours a day. The rest is leisure time. And midday 1-2 hour naps to escape the sun’s peak heat are common.

The midday nap is a constant through many different human cultures. In Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines, you’ve got the siesta. Bangladesh has bhat-ghum, or “rice sleep.” The Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese, and even Chinese Ikea-goers enjoy a culture of napping. And though they aren’t ingrained into the culture, both Germans and Brits do a fair amount of napping on the sly. It’s not just culture and warm environments and big lunchtime meals provoking naps, though. Most people experience an energy dip in the afternoon, between 1 and 4 PM. This is totally normal. According to sleep researchers, it’s also the perfect time for a nap.

Benefits of Napping

Evidence shows that indulging this biological imperative when it arises is probably a good idea:

Different Types of Naps

The one-second hypnagogic nap.

You know that half-awake, half-dreaming mindscape you drift through as you begin to doze? That place where strange figures from your past call to you, where you imagine tripping or falling or catching an arrow to the face and jerk awake? That’s hypnagogia. It marks the transition from waking to sleep, and icons as diverse as Einstein and Salvador Dali deliberately spent a considerable amount of time there cultivating their craft, finding inspiration, and working through problems. Dali’s method was to nap sitting up in a chair while holding a coin between two fingers poised above a ceramic dish. When he fell asleep, the coin would drop onto the plate, the clatter waking him after just a second or two. But as anyone who’s dreamed knows, a second in “real time” can last an eternity in sleep time — long enough to come up with a creative solution to a vexing problem.

Good for creatives, artists, problem solvers, and, apparently, theoretical physicists.

The ultra-short 6-minute nap.

If you can manage to fall asleep fast enough and wake up on time, you can reap the memory-boosting benefits of the six-minute nap. Yes, six minutes. Don’t you dare sleep for seven, though.

Good for people with no time at all, like first year medical residents.

The ten-minute nap.

A recent study tested the effects of 5, 10, 20, and 30 minute naps on sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance. The 5-minute nap was pretty useless, the 20-minute nap produced benefits 35 minutes after waking, the 30-minute nap produced immediate post-nap grogginess and benefits that took over an hour to emerge, while the 10-minute nap was the sweet spot. Subjects who napped for ten minutes enjoyed immediate boosts to all markers.

Good for people interested in the minimum effective dose.

The 25.8 minute nap.

It sounds oddly specific, but that’s the average time pilots in a NASA study spent napping in-flight. They fell asleep in, on average, 5.6 minutes, experienced no negative effects on nighttime sleep patterns, had fewer instances of “micro-sleep” (the dangerous and frightening phenomenon of falling asleep while doing something that normally precludes sleep, like driving or flying), improved their reaction time, and were able to maintain their duties and responsibilities. If pilots can nap on the job for almost half an hour without incurring disaster, I think you can get away with it. Of course, 25.8 minutes isn’t optimal for everyone; that was just the average napping duration.

Good for doctors and nurses working long shifts in the ER and people with 40 minutes to spare (the block of time allotted to napping pilots in the study).

The power nap.

It’s a shame that we feel the need to hack and optimize something so pleasant and luxurious as a midday nap, but that’s the world in which we live. If people simply can’t spare the time but still need the extra boost to cognition, memory, and wakefulness, the power nap — which can range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on who you ask — is the ticket.

Good for people working demanding, high-stress jobs or studying for finals.

The 60-minute power nap.

Sleeping for 60 minutes means reaching slow wave sleep and risking a bit of sleep inertia upon waking, but it can also boost alertness and performance for up to ten hours.

Good for people who know how to overcome sleep inertia (see below).

The sleep cycle nap.

Going the full 90-120 minutes allows you to wake up after leaving slow wave sleep, either during or right after REM sleep. This means you’ve essentially finished a sleep cycle and minimized the risk of sleep inertia. Furthermore, full sleep cycle naps that include REM sleep boost creativity and outperform caffeine on some measures.

Good for people with the time to spare and a need/desire to think different.

When to Take a Nap

Research suggests anywhere between 1 and 4 PM is best, but only because that’s when most afternoon slumps occur. Just take a nap when you get a little sleepy. In my experience, however, it’s ideal to take a nap when you want one and feel like you could use it, not when you absolutely need one. The distinction is subtle but important. Avoid the emergency nap, the nap that cannot be reasoned with, the nap that inserts itself in inopportune situations (the drive home, a meeting). Don’t get to that point if it can be avoided.

Knowing your chronotype helps determine the optimal nap time, too. Morning people will do better in the earlier afternoon (1-ish) and night owls are better served with later naps (3-4-ish).

To be safe, avoid naps after 4 in the afternoon. That’s not a nap, it’s an early bedtime.

How to Do It

If you need to convince your employer that naps are a good investment, read this older post. Together with today’s Definitive Guide to Napping, you should be able to sway them.

Lie down. You’ll fall asleep faster than if you were sitting up, and the sleep you’ll get lying down is superior.

Darken the room. Draw the blinds, close the door, wear an eye shield if it helps.

Nap outside. My favorite place to nap is outside. If you can swing it, grab a shady spot under a tree, in some soft grass, or maybe swaying in a hammock. The light doesn’t seem to bother me, for whatever reason (though I’m certainly not napping in full sun).

Go someplace quiet. Loud noises are a sleep deterrence.

Quiet the mind. Count your breath, sheep jumping over the fence, recite a mantra. Guided meditations can also help.

How to Avoid Post-Nap Sleep Inertia

Sleep inertia: it’s a terrible feeling, waking up in a mild panic as it dawns on you that there’s still work to be done and responsibilities to fulfill. You’re groggy, you’re confused, you can’t think straight, you just want to go back to sleep, but it’s 2 PM and you have a few hours left in the workday. You’d probably be better off not napping at all if you’re just going to end up sleepier with worse performance, right? Here are some ways to avoid it.

Get some bright light immediately after waking and splash some water on your faceThis combo alleviates post-nap inertia. Either alone should work, too.

Make it a caffeine nap. Drink a small cup of coffee right before you hunker down for the nap. As long as you stick to a 20-30 minute schedule, you’ll be waking up right as the caffeine takes effect.

Just have some caffeine. If you miss the boat for the caffeine nap, having a little caffeine (100 mg in one study, about a cup of coffee) minimizes sleep inertia.

Avoid 40-60 minute long naps. This is where you start hitting slow wave sleep, which makes for a rough wakeup and extended sleep inertia. Either go short (30 minutes or less) or long (75-90 minutes). Avoid the middle ground.

Who Should Take Naps

Everyone. I’m serious, folks. Very few of us get the amount of high quality sleep we need to function optimally. But here, in case you don’t believe me, run a little nap test:

Lie down somewhere quiet and dark and calm in the afternoon.

Close your eyes.

Count your breaths (or sheep, or whatever you prefer).

If you find yourself drifting off, or you actually end up falling asleep, congratulations: you should nap.

Napping is one of those things we tell ourselves we need to incorporate into our lives, yet it so easily falls by the wayside. I hope today’s post has convinced you naps deserve a place in your Primal life — because they definitely do.

Let’s hear from you folks. Do you nap on a regular basis? What’s your favorite type of nap? Duration?

Tell me all about it down below, and thanks for reading!

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You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. I was just about to take a nap before reading this. I’ve always been a huge proponent of napping, more so now that I’m pregnant. I think I’ll set my alarm for 25.8 minutes and see how it goes.

    Erica wrote on June 16th, 2015
  2. You forgot one, Mark.

    The 3.5 hour nap – Usually preceded by a half slab of ribs and a lazy Saturday morning. This is the “sweet spot” for those who have finished their household chores the day before and find themselves with nothing else to do for the remainder of the afternoon. :)

    Jacob wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • Why does everything have to be timed??? I just sleep when I am tired, and wake up when I’ve had enough…. sometimes a 4 hour nap….(maybe i ran and lifted and am extra tired because of the heat) sometimes a 1 hour nap, just brain tired.

      Either way my body just wakes up when it is done. If we are all really “primal” just listen to your body and it will dictate the truth. Many times I wake up and have only needed 4 hours of sleep… so I do get up and do something productive (FYI: learned from Marilyn vos Savant… the American with the highest IQ)
      Many times i need 10 hours of sleep. If we are living each day to the fullest, every day is different… as are our sleeping needs. Maybe everyone just needs to be more in tune with their bodies?

      Mary wrote on June 16th, 2015
      • Agreed! I stopped using an alarm clock a while ago and life is better. Sometimes I nap for multiple hours. Sometimes I get a few minutes. Other times it just turns into a quick meditation session because I realize I’m not even tired at all. I’m hapy with whichever outcome, as long as I give my body the option at some point in the day.

        Zach wrote on June 16th, 2015
      • Sometimes it just has to be timed. Especially if you have obligations. People napping at work (good for them) sure better set a timer to wake them up! Plus, some people just enjoy data and experimenting.

        Nicole wrote on June 17th, 2015
        • I agree with you, Nicole. Between 3 kids, a full-time job, and 6+ hours of martial arts training a week, if I don’t set an alarm there could be trouble! :)

          If you can get away without an alarm, more power to you, but don’t knock us that need one to stay on schedule.

          Jacob wrote on June 22nd, 2015
  3. Or the 4-hour “I just want to forget all about it” nap that usually follows a frenzied Saturday morning attempt to do all the grocery shopping in one big trip (via freeways). Payday weekends are the WORST if you live in a military area.

    You try to time it so you’re first or second in the door when the store opens (before the rest of the wombats are even awake), and you’re headed home when everybody else is headed to the beach, but there are some weekends when THEY planned the same as you, and the only thing that’s changed is the hour of the freeway frenzy.

    I’m trying to recover from shopping online, but resistance may be futile.

    Wenchypoo wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • Military doesn’t always get paid on the weekends, it is the first and 15th for them.

      Myles wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • Amazon is calling your name. :)

      Aria wrote on June 16th, 2015
  4. Timely post. I’ve been thinking about incorporating some more napping into my life. Now seems to be a good time to start, as the summer is here and it’s possible to nap outside (Not so tempting to nap outside here in Norway during the winter).

    Eirik wrote on June 16th, 2015
  5. Great post! I’ve gotten in the habit lately of taking a nap during my lunch break. I bring a pillow in with me, so I go out to my truck, stretch out across the seat, open the windows, and put on a quick guided meditation. I set an alarm on my phone just in case, but I’ve honestly only used it once or twice. Twenty minutes and I’m up and ready to go.

    Jim wrote on June 16th, 2015
  6. Oh my gosh, I feel like a fool. For almost a year now, I’ve been feeling super tired/sleepy in the afternoon, right around 2-3pm. This occurs whether I’m eating healthy or not, taking my vitamins or not, getting enough sleep at night (I thought) or not. I thought there was something wrong with me. I think I just realized I’m HUMAN, and I should get over my prejudices and listen to my body.

    On the days that I’m able to take a nap around that time, I lie down and sleep for 90-120 minutes, and when I wake up I feel better! I’m more productive! And I actually sleep better at night.

    Hurray for naps!

    Groovymarlin wrote on June 16th, 2015
  7. A 20-minute nap leaves me feeling worse than if I hadn’t bothered. If I’m going to nap at all, I shoot for 60 to 90 minutes during mid-afternoon when the need arises.

    Shary wrote on June 16th, 2015
  8. I like what you said about not napping after 4 in the afternoon. I used to nap a lot after 4 and I noticed that it would be really hard for me to fall asleep for the night at a decent time. That nap would also throw my whole schedule off for the next day, so I just gave up napping, but now I’m open to the idea of it again.

    Thomas Rohmer wrote on June 16th, 2015
  9. I took a group of Scouts camping weekend before last. After a morning hike and lunch, we all had a laugh when everyone went and had a siesta….leaders and kids. We were all going for the full sleep cycle, but no one had a problem falling asleep when the sun went down. It felt luxurious to have a nap on a warm summer day with nothing else to do

    Dawn from the Frozen North wrote on June 16th, 2015
  10. I find it hard to believe napping is beneficial if one gets an adequate night’s sleep, which would seem more important. As an adult I’ve never napped except when sick or pregnant. When I’ve napped on occasion due to lack of sleep, I always feel drugged, no matter the length of nap. Sudden onset of napping in an adult can alert one to a health problem (i.e. your body not getting enough oxygen) as happened to my father in the weeks leading up to a heart attack. I’ll look at the links more closely, but it seems the best idea is to get adequate sleep at night.

    Colleen wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • I’d say that a full night of sleep should definitely be the priority, but occasionally things happen and that isn’t always possible (finals week, work deadlines, emergencies, etc). For those instances, naps can be truly helpful. I think the point here is that if you’re tired, stop trying so hard to fight your body and give it what it needs. It will always be different for different folks, but our Western society really does associate napping (and even getting 8-12 hours of sleep) with lethargy and laziness. That’s not always the case.

      Stacie wrote on June 16th, 2015
  11. Brilliant! I do take frequent naps. Easier since I retired.

    Harry Mossman wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • I have learned to actually lie down when I feel drowsy. Otherwise, my head slumps and I wake with sleep inertia, usually snapping awake, which is not fun.

      Harry Mossman wrote on June 16th, 2015
  12. I’ve been doing this for years ever since I read a great book called The Twenty Minute Break. Highly recommended book.

    These days I work outside in my garden till about 11, then come inside, make some food, eat it, and take a nap. I usually go back outside to work around four and work until dark. This is a traditional schedule in the rural South, from times before air conditioning, and when the South was still mostly agrarian.

    shannon stoney wrote on June 16th, 2015
  13. I must be weird. I never take naps because I won’t be able to sleep at night. I do get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, so that is probably the reason. I’m MOST awake between the hours of 1-4pm too! I get my best stuff done then, and am alert and on top of my game.

    Nocona wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • You are not alone!
      I’ve never liked naps. Whenever I sleep during the day – that includes sleeping in too long in the morning – I feel terrible when I wake up. I prefer to power through whatever mild tiredness I may be feeling, and go to bed a bit earlier that night.
      The only time I will lie down during the day is when I’m sick or extremely sleep deprived for whatever reason (which is almost never), and even then I can’t sleep, just rest.
      Being strict about my sleep schedule has been an eye opener for me. Ever since I decided to prioritise going to bed on time, and wake up refreshed and without an alarm almost every morning, I can’t imagine living any other way.

      Linda wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • I’m weird too(!), likewise I get 8/9 hours and am generally alert most of the day without this slump that is so often mentioned. I might consider trying a nap just to see if it had any benefit if I had the luxury of not working but lunchtimes are for eating and exercise.

      Tracy wrote on June 17th, 2015
    • Naps are for people who don’t sleep well enough or long enough at night. That includes all of us at times. I sleep better at night if I don’t take a nap. By the same token, I don’t usually need a nap if I got my 8 or 9 hours the night before.

      The need for sleep varies considerably. Back in the Stone Ages when I was in kindergarten, we had to take a 20-minute nap every day. For those with too much energy, that meant 20 minutes of restless fidgeting while others zonked out immediately. My guess is that those “fidgeters” are probably non-nappers to this day.

      Shary wrote on June 17th, 2015
  14. I’ve been napping throughout my life (and I’m 67). I learned from my dad, a logger and fisherman who took a 20 minute nap after every meal.

    Alice wrote on June 16th, 2015
  15. I read a article a while back written by someone from family of nappers. She pointed out something that has been helpful to me:
    To *not* darken the room.
    The author commented on how depressing, tomb-like, and non-natural that was. Instead, she recommended just laying down with the windows open, breeze coming in, watching the puffy clouds, how naturally nap-inducing it is. I look at some tree tops moving in the breeze; it is very soothing. Maybe I attempt reading a book, but I don’t get far, and am not trying to.

    Monikat wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • I agree. I don’t turn out the light. It works best if I pretend I’m going to read. If I just lie down, I’m wide awake.

      Harry Mossman wrote on June 16th, 2015
  16. I nap, I love my naps. Learned from my paternal grand father. He would eat lunch, play a game of solitaire lay the cards down, and be snoring in less than five min. I’m there with that. When I was delivering propane, I would stop on a secluded road and take a 20 min. nap, so refreshing. I enjoy my naps, most always 20 min. or so. If I need more rest it’s more like 30. I am not sleep deprived, or hardly ever.
    My wife on the other hand is constantly sleep deprived, she doesn’t take naps, at all, never. She will try to catch up on the week ends, 12 hours is not unusual for her.

    Mark N wrote on June 16th, 2015
  17. When I used to nap, it was while reading in lounge chair, for either the hypnagogic type or 10 minutes. It was wonderful, especially during the *many* years when I averaged a little less than 6 hours of sleep a night. Then the two times I’ve had significant surgery as an adult, I napped a solid 2 hours in the afternoons for the first week after each surgery, with no adverse consequences for sleep at night.

    Too bad, somewhere along the line I lost the ability to fall asleep mid-day, even when I was still sleeping so poorly. (At age 65, I’m finally averaging close to 7 hours a night, though with several awakenings; was a *great* sleeper til ~age 45.)

    Miz Pat wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • The need for more sleep following surgery, or anything that’s physically traumatic, is normal. A doctor once told me that the body repairs itself while we sleep.

      Shary wrote on June 17th, 2015
  18. I have been napping as much as i can as a new mom of 3 under 6. I am finding that it is completely necessary or else I will lose my mind.
    I also LOVE snuggling and nursing my newborn son and find it sad that our culture doesn’t promote a quality of life for new parents that includes snuggling, napping, resting and nesting.

    Lilah Wise wrote on June 16th, 2015
    • Lilah, I’m the same! I have four little ones (age 9 and under), and we have a mandatory quiet time in the afternoon. I nap with the baby during this time. It really resets our family from post-lunch-crankiness back to sanity, and it is truly a godsend. I can’t imagine trying to soldier through the entire day without down time for the whole family – it would be a nightmare. (And on the few times we’ve had to do it for some reason or another, it HAS been a nightmare.)

      Best wishes!

      Diana wrote on June 17th, 2015
    • I’m a gigi (grandma) now and watch the sweet baby two to three times a week and kinda look forward to his nap because I relax in a huge chair with a pile of magazines and always fall asleep (I’m a terrible sleeper myself). That nap always feels fantastic!

      When my daughters were little my youngest wasn’t a good napper so every afternoon after lunch she and I would sit in a recliner together and watch “I Love Lucy.” We would nap a little bit together. This is one of my best memories.

      Deborah wrote on August 21st, 2015
  19. I have central sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine at night to keep my airways open. Naps without the machine handy are troublesome because I’ll drift off into hypoxia and wake up startled and half-asphyxiated. Not restful! Too bad. I’d love to be able to nap more.

    Dave wrote on June 16th, 2015
  20. Mark I’m with you, taking a nap outside (preferably on grass) is a good way to stay grounded and have a session where I really conk out. But it doesn’t beat a nap on the beach on the warm sand though! :)

    Justin wrote on June 16th, 2015
  21. This should be required reading for corporate management everywhere!

    George wrote on June 16th, 2015
  22. I’ve been doing TM (meditation) for decades and each afternoon at about 5 or so I begin meditation. If I’m lucky and transcend and slip into oblivion for forty minutes or so. I have no idea where the time goes. And still after all this time I’m still not sure weather I’m napping or actually transcending. I feel rested, for sure, and if I transcend long enough it actually affects my sleep at night, as if I still have energy from the earlier meditation, and still not ready to sleep.

    Jed wrote on June 16th, 2015
  23. I frequently find myself in need of one. I am fortunate in that my boss is not breathing down my back, hardly ever. If I disappear for a while (to get lunch, groceries, a cup of coffee, etc.), I have never received guff for the amount of time I’m gone. I will sleep on the grass when it is pleasant out, but here in Phoenix the summers are not ideal for mid-afternoon, outdoor naps (unless you have a change of clothes). I’ve even slept in the car with the AC in the more isolated locations of grocery store parking lots.

    Coincidentally, I’ve found that if I can get away with laying down in my office I will and I typically set my alarm for about 7-10 minutes. This gives me a chance to fall asleep and hopefully get at least 5-7 minutes of sleep; and I have found it to be useful!

    Kevin Grokman wrote on June 16th, 2015
  24. I definitely cannot sleep outside.

    I used to be good for a 1 pm weekend nap of about an hour. Read, drop off. Nowadays I can’t seem to actually “let” myself nap on the weekends. My mind isn’t slowing down enough. Either that or my sister calls right at the time she knows I’m trying to nap.

    My sister: “Hi! Did I wake you up?”
    Me: “Hi! Can you bite me?”

    But I digress.

    Julie wrote on June 16th, 2015
  25. I am a 90-120 minute mapper at least three times a week. I also get about 8 hours of sleep at night, so I’m not sure what the deal is. Either way, I used to feel bad about it but now I realize it helps me function a lot better. I also tend to sleep right after I study (I’m learning Spanish), and this seems to help my retention rate.

    Kelly wrote on June 16th, 2015
  26. My mom used to nap for 10 minutes or less. With 5 kids it was a great skill and she was able to usually stay awake until “lights out” at 10PM. She was completely renewed and ready to keep going after that. We were always amazed that she could do it and that it worked so well.

    2Rae wrote on June 16th, 2015
  27. According to historical research, we commonly slept in two main phases with a waking period in between, around midnight to 2am and remained awake for several hours doing housework, fooling around, or ambling into town for a beer. We also napped every afternoon. Entire well documented social institutions were built around that gap between the main sleeping cycles and civilization respected the nap.

    Look up polyphasic sleep.

    cfb wrote on June 16th, 2015
  28. I just woke up from a nap – did I miss something ?

    Storm wrote on June 16th, 2015
  29. Very informative and simple article i really liked it and would also mention a small trick and that works perfectly for me, before taking a nap try drinking a cup of coffee take a nap, caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in so when you wake up from the nap you are even more alert and more able to concentrate.

    omar wrote on June 17th, 2015
    • I’ve heard about that somewhere else before (perhaps Art of Manliness), but have never tried it. I feel an experiment coming on! :)

      Jacob wrote on June 18th, 2015
  30. I usually nap every day after lunch. No specific length of time but usually 10-30 minutes. I nap lying on back but sleep at night in side. On back I snore which wakes me right after I fall into deep sleep which limits my nap time. I awake very refreshed. I am fortunate to have own business that I operate from home. If I don’t nap I am slow and groggy on and off all afternoon.

    Fred farkel wrote on June 17th, 2015
  31. I volunteer at a marine mammal rescue center and the days that I am there, I get up at 4am, and, when we are busy, don’t head home until around 5pm. I’ve started curling up in my backseat for a 20-30 minute nap during our lunch break. It makes a world of difference in getting though the afternoon!

    Melissa wrote on June 17th, 2015
  32. Im fortunate to now be in a job which is close to home so at lunch I head home and lie down on the sofa with the tv on. If Im needing a nap I find im very quickly asleep. My alarm is set for 35 mins time and some days it wakes me, others I wake after 10-15 mins. Some days I just watch rubbish tv and let my mind wander.

    This allows me to be much more productive in the afternoons and helps with my heavy Crossfit sessions in the evenings, and coaching Crossfit some evenings too means I dont get home until after 9 some nights. I am in bed for over 8 hours and sometimes sleeps brilliantly, sometimes its restless, but this doesn’t seem to be linked to the naps.

    Without the naps I am listless and cant concentrate at work, and just run out of steam at the gym. I love my naps and definitely think they improve my quality of life!

    Rebekah wrote on June 18th, 2015
  33. You’re speaking my language Mark!

    About a month ago I gave a TEDx talk here in Sydney, Australia on afternoon naps called ‘Indulge Your Neurobiology’. I believe we should all nap too – its like a brain hack for improving memory, sparking creativity and regulating emotions.

    http://yourbrainhealth.com.au/my-tedx-talk-indulge-your-neurobiology/

    Sarah wrote on June 19th, 2015
  34. I don’t see napping as a sign of weakness. What about napping when you are ill? is that a sign of weakness? In my own opinion a 20 minute nap is perfect. I have read in the past that if you sleep any longer than 20-30 minutes you are then going into a deep sleep and you will feel much worse when you wake up after it. The groggy feeling. Yeah I can agree with napping between 1pm – 4pm after lunch you start to feel sleepy. I know I do. Working a 9-5 job can be tiring and afterwork you feel like you need a nap but I agree once you get home and have a nap it’s an early bedtime because once it is bedtime you will find it hard to sleep because of the nap earlier.

    Adam Trainor wrote on June 19th, 2015
  35. So this article just made me order a hammock off Amazon :)

    2low wrote on June 19th, 2015
  36. So does the long nap count in your daily sleep quotient? You always hear that we need at least 7+ hours of sleep per day. Does that include naps?

    William wrote on June 21st, 2015
  37. I am a big fan of long afternoon naps – I work late afternoons and evenings, so it helps me be alert for work. However, I have really bad sugar cravings when I wake up, and I am most likely to make poor food choices right after my nap. Any thoughts on how to combat this aspect of sleep inertia?

    Laura wrote on June 24th, 2015
  38. i’ve never been a napper. i rarely feel refreshed; it usually makes me more tired
    except when it’s long (2 hours) but 1) it’s not possible on weekday 2) have trouble falling asleep. i become hyper

    lately, i found mini-“meditation” (30 sec – 3 min). here & there throughout a day works better. does it count as “napping”? XD

    pam wrote on June 29th, 2015
  39. Many people don’t get enough sleep at night and a short nap is a great way to recharge. Even if you don’t actually fall asleep, you will feel better.

    Robert wrote on July 5th, 2015

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