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Relaxed mixed race young girl stretching after day sleep, afternoon napping, lying on comfortable sofa

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Do you find yourself feeling drowsy in the afternoon? Or maybe all day long? Statistically, there’s a good chance you answered yes, since the CDC reports that one in three adults don’t get enough sleep. If you chronically don’t get enough sleep at night, it is important to find ways to improve that. Getting good sleep on a regular basis is linked to better physical and mental health, says the National Institute of Health. That said, naps can provide their own immediate and short-term benefits that are not to be overlooked.

You’ve probably noticed that after a short nap, you feel more alert, more focused and even make fewer mistakes. That’s because naps are restorative. Sanctioned nap time really shouldn’t have stopped in kindergarten if you ask us. Many major companies even agree, like Google, who provides their employees with nap pods for in-office snoozing. Hootsuite, Zappos and Procter & Gamble reportedly provide similar apparatuses to their staff. Taking a brief break from wakefulness can provide major benefits.

If you’re looking to experience a bit more Zen energy in your days, naps can help with that, too. Research from the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that people are less impulsive and bothered by frustrating events after a nap. So consider squeezing in a nap before meeting with that in-law or coworker that gets under your skin.

It’s clear that naps provide diverse and plentiful perks. But, how long should you nap? And what time? Not all naps are created equal. Here’s your guide to napping like a pro.


How Long Should You Nap?

Tired woman suffering from burnout at work, sleeping at desk and napping after meeting a deadline in an office alone. Business woman and corporate professional resting, taking a break with laptop

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While it can be tempting to shut the blinds of your office door and doze off for an hour after lunch, that might not be the best idea. Experts at Sleep Foundation suggest keeping naps to 20 to 30 minutes tops. Sleeping longer can leave you feeling groggy, and that’s because at around the hour mark of sleeping, the brain enters what is known as “slow-wave” sleep. If you wake up just after entering that, you can feel drowsy. That 20 to 30-minute mark, however, provides just enough sleep to help you wake up feeling refreshed, without having to fall into a deep sleep.

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