“Some people simply benefit the most from naps, and those are people who are sleep deprived — which is most of us,” says MetroHealth’s Dr. Vidya Krishnan, who specializes in sleep medicine.
Most adults require approximately seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Any less can lead to trouble making decisions, paying attention and accessing long-term memory. Luckily, Krishnan says, even a quick nap can improve alertness, motor performance and psychological health.
Because our bodies operate in 90-minute sleep cycles, she advises taking short naps, which prevent the brain from entering deep sleep and REM, or full 90-minute naps, which allow the brain to complete the cycle and may boost creativity afterwards. Anything in between may lead to that dreaded groggy feeling that sometimes comes with falling asleep midday.
“Ten- to 20-minute naps can keep you refreshed,” Krishnan says, “and you get the benefits of waking up with more sustained alertness.”
Acknowledging cultural stigma around napping, Krishnan says she’s inspired by businesswoman Arianna Huffington, who allows employees to nap during the workday to improve their overall health, happiness and performance.
“It’s a culture change that needs to occur,” she says.
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8:00 AM EST
August 1, 2019