What You Need To Know About Napping – How Long, Where & When Is Best?
Newsflash: napping isn't just for babies and the elderly? As a morning show host who moonlights as a weekend warrior in a local band, sleep and I don't get a long like we used to and some nights we barely meet at all! I asked a pal who was in the same boat as me and he said the key was taking an afternoon nap. More than 1/3 of all adults in the country take a daily nap so it's important to be educated on how to do it. Here are the three biggest questions:
How long should we nap for?
If you need a quick shot of energy then the 10-20 minute 'power' nap is for you and you won't wake up feeling like you awoke prematurely. If you nap for a half hour instead you're gonna be groggy at first before you actually feel revitalized because you only make it to the light sleep stage. If you want to improve mentally and not just physically, you'll need to nap for an hour, but there will still be some grogginess after because you enter the deep sleep phase w/o dreaming. However, if you have the time drifting off to la-la land for 90 minutes is ideal for restoring your physical and mental prowess without waking up groggy after because you have long enough to actually dream too.
Where's the best place for a nap?
Depends on which type of nap you're after, but for a shorter one, sleeping slightly upright like on a recliner or car seat is ideal to prevent you from heading into a deeper sleep. If you happen to dream during a short nap, then it's a safe bet that you're really sleep deprived. For longer naps, hit your favorite couch or your bed so you're completely prostrate offering you the best chance at restful sleep.
When is the best time to drift off?
This of course is the most individual part of napping and depends greatly on when you wake up and crash normally or your obligations (taking a 90-minute nap in the middle of the day could get you canned from your job or may not be practical with kids). But, generally speaking knocking out early afternoon (1-4p) is ideal to put as much distance between your nap and when you need to turn in for the night.
In my case I wake up at 430 and am usually home and in bed for my 90-120 min nappy by 1230 and then crash to start it all over again hopefully no later than 930p, about 7-8 hours of awake time and an 8-hour full sleep period at night.. Hope this helps and happy sleeping!
I'm trying hard just to find time to crash much less to devote thought to HOW I'm going to do it, but what do YOU sleep in between the sheets? Peejays? Just underwear? Sweats and a hoodie? ...Commando??