Benefits of Napping and 4 New Naps to Try
If you’ve ever felt guilty about taking a nap, here’s some good news for you — naps can actually be incredibly healthy and beneficial. Plus, you can try a few different varieties to supercharge your snoozes.
Benefits of Naps
Taking a short catnap during the day can boost your memory, recall, and alertness, improve mood and job performance, and lower stress levels. This is especially true if you tend not to get enough restful sleep during the night. However, most of these benefits come from shorter naps — typically 20 minutes is recommended — as people who regularly nap for more than an hour show an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
1. Coffee Nap (AKA “Nappuccino”)
A new trend in the productivity world is the caffeine nap — also known as the “Nappuccino.” Although it sounds counterintuitive, a cup of something caffeinated right before you take a nap can boost your energy when you wake up. This is because caffeine takes approximately 20-30 minutes to enter the bloodstream, so it should kick in right as you wake up from your nap.
2. The Micro Nap
The micro-nap can range anywhere from five to 15 minutes and is surprisingly effective at boosting alertness and fending off fatigue. These short bursts of sleep can refresh your mind and mood, leading the rest of the day to be much more productive.
3. The Power Nap
The power nap is just like a caffeine nap — minus the caffeine. Clocking in at about 20 minutes, most sleep researchers find that this is the best amount of time to get both the short-term and long-term health benefits. Plus, any longer than this can often leave you feeling groggy, which leads us to…
4. The Super Tired Nap
Sometimes your body and brain need more than 20 minutes, like if you pulled an all-nighter or were up half the night with your kids. As long as it doesn’t become a daily habit, a nap for one to two hours can help you catch up on lost sleep.
The Bottom Line
Naps can benefit our health by boosting mental and physical performance and improving our mood. However, we don’t want to overdo it — about 20 minutes tends to be the sweet spot when it comes to daytime snoozing.