As mums we know how beneficial a nap can be for our little ones in helping to relieve
grouchiness and tantrums caused by overtiredness.
But, what about us adults? Do we benefit from having a nap and, if so, is there an optimum time for napping?
History is littered with famous nappers – from Napoleon to Winston Churchill – and most mammals like to grab short periods of sleep during the day. NASA found that military pilots and astronauts performed 34% better and were 100% more alert after a 40-minute nap.
Ways to nap
There are different ways to nap. If you’ve ever found yourself feeling so exhausted that you simply have to stop what you are doing and lie down, you’ll understand the benefit of an emergency nap. For some people, however, a planned nap at the same time each day helps them keep tiredness at bay.
Avoid sleep inertia
It seems that there’s an ideal length of time for napping – of 10-30 minutes. Any longer than this and you might find yourself feeling groggy and disorientated or unable to sleep properly at bedtime. The reason for this is sleep inertia, which can affect people for up to half an hour after sleeping. A study in the research journal Sleep concluded that a 10-minute nap produced the most benefits in terms of making people feel less sleepy and more alert.
So, next time your little ones go down for their afternoon sleep, instead of rushing to catch up on emails or talk to your mum on the phone, why not consider taking a 10-minute nap yourself? You’ll probably feel a whole lot better for it!
For more great tips on getting a good night’s sleep browse our Blog categories: Live – for general lifestyle advice; Sleep – for specific information about sleeping and the conditions needed for good quality sleep; and Relax – for information to help you unwind and quieten your busy mind. Also check out our Product pages for tried and trusted products to help you sleep.