If you’re anything like me, you love a good nap. It’s almost like rebooting your brain. But did you know that napping has some pretty far-reaching effects on your health? Shorter naps give you the ‘best bang for your buck’ according to experts, but longer naps have their benefits too.
A 10-20 minute nap can boost your alertness. Perfect for a midday break at work. But for improved memory, an hour long nap may do you good. Slow wave sleep helps with remembering places and faces, but you might feel a little groggy when you wake up. A 90 minute nap involves a full cycle of sleep, which can help with creativity and procedural memory.
As it turns out, sitting slightly upright during a nap will help you avoid deep sleep. If you start having dreams while napping, it may mean you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Be sure to give yourself the eight hours your body needs to be healthy!
Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, said the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.
- For a quick boost, she recommends a 10-to-20-minute nap.
- For cognitive memory improvement, however, a 60-minute nap may be better, Dr. Mednick said. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.
- Finally, a 90-minute nap will most likely turn into a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory.