Adult Guide to Napping

mature male taking a nap outside “You’ll feel better if you just take a nap.” If you’re a parent, you’ve probably said this to your child more times than you can count. But what if we told you that you¸ yourself, might feel better if you just take a nap? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a midday snooze, and how to do it right.

The upside of naps

A quick power nap offers several benefits, like:

  • Better mood
  • Better work performance
  • Faster reaction time
  • Improved memory
  • Increased alertness
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved learning and creativity
  • Reduced stress

The downside of naps

Some of us are better nappers than others, and napping does sometimes have its drawbacks. You could experience:

  • Grogginess or disorientation upon waking
  • Difficulty sleeping at night

Is napping right for me?

You might be a good candidate for a daily nap if you:

  • Regularly get less than seven hours of sleep at night
  • Feel sleepy or cranky after lunch
  • Have trouble focusing in the afternoon
  • “Need” that afternoon cup of joe just to function

Napping the right way

If you want to maximize your nap benefits, and reduce your risk of negative results, follow these napping guidelines:

  • Choose a nap environment that is cool, quiet and relatively dark.
  • Lie down before 3pm.
  • Try to sleep for no more than 20–30 minutes.
  • If you plan to have some caffeine after your nap, consider drinking it right before lying down. It will kick in right about the time you’re waking up.