How long is too long? The three steps to the perfect nap

Sometimes a quick nap is all you need to give yourself a boost of energy when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

But sometimes you can nap at the wrong time or for too long and feel much worse than you originally did. We have all been there!

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So what is the perfect time for a nap?

How long is too long for a nap?

Sleep occurs in cycles, so it’s important to choose a nap that suits the demands of your day.

A normal sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes. and begins with lighter stages of sleep before entering deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

The duration of the nap depends where you come from in the sleep cycle.

Long naps are generally not a problem, unless taken too close to bedtime.

The best time of day to take a nap is usually six to eight hours after waking up; For most people, this time is usually between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

«You probably take a nap any time after this interferes with your sleep schedule and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.

“Try not to nap later than the early afternoon or past the approximate midpoint of your usual wake-up and bedtime.

For many sleepers this cutoff point would be around 3:00 p.m. m. Taking a nap too late can disrupt your sleep schedule and prevent you from getting enough rest.

A 90-minute nap allows you to complete a full sleep cycle. Waking up from these naps is usually easier.

Since you experience each stage of sleep and wake up in stage one, these naps leave you feeling refreshed and more alert, so they don’t cause sleep inertia like an hour-long nap.

A complete sleep cycle it can boost creativity and improve procedural and emotional memory.

However, you should not take 90-minute naps within seven hours of your scheduled bedtime to ensure that it does not interfere with your night’s sleep.»

A 30-60 minute nap may sound tempting, but this will get you into the third and fourth stages of sleep. (which is very deep).

This is not good because when you wake up you may experience sleep inertia (the transition stage between sleep and wakefulness). This can cause you to feel lightheaded, with difficulty moving, and unclear thinking.

If the rest of your day is going to demand that you concentrate or continue working or studying, it is the least recommended.

If you don’t have time for a full 90-minute nap, a nap 10-20 minutes is great for increasing energy and alertness, thankfully!

During a power nap, you stay in the first two stages of non-rapid eye movement; these are the lightest stages of sleep, which means that you will wake up easily.

“The power naps provide immediate benefits.

They increase alertness and performance levels and can decrease any feelings of sleepiness.”

The three steps to the perfect nap

Step one

Find a quiet, restful place to take your nap. Ideally, the space should be dark and relatively cool with minimal distractions.

However, if you’re not home taking a nap in your bedroom, you may have to improvise.

If you plan to take a nap in your office or in your car, an eye mask and ear plugs they can help you block out noise and light from outside.

Second step

Before you go to bed and close your eyes, set an alarm for the amount of time you want to sleep.

If you’re away from home, you should be able to use a smartphone app with an alarm clock.

Step three

If sleep eludes you because you’re focused on things to do after your nap and other sources of stress, try relieve stress and relax with breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.

Once you’re lying down with your eyes closed, inhale and exhale slowly. As you inhale, focus on directing your breath towards her belly.

Reciting a mantra to yourself, such as «Inhaling, I’m calm, exhaling, I’m facing it» while doing this breathing exercise can also help.

After taking a few slow breaths, begin to tense muscle groups as you breathe.

This method requires you to hold the tension in a muscle as you inhale and release it as you exhale.

Start with the muscles of your head and neck, then move your focus down your body.