Unless you live in one of the (lucky) countries where midday siestas are the norm, you probably aren’t used to taking an afternoon nap. But it may be time to start.
Power naps are short and sweet, taking advantage of our natural sleep cycles. We move through several different phases of sleep — some light, some deep. A full sleep cycle typically lasts about 90 minutes.
Longer naps have the downside of producing more sleep inertia — that drowsy feeling you experience when you wake up. “If you go through a whole sleep cycle, you’re more likely to wake up pretty groggy.
Short power naps cut the risk of waking up in a daze.
Power nap time: How long is a power nap?
A power nap that lasts 20 to 30 minutes is usually ideal. It’s long enough to give you all the benefits of sleep without leaving you feeling groggy when you wake up.
Power nap benefits
Daytime naps might be especially helpful if you’re dragging after a lousy night’s sleep. But even for people who aren’t sleep deprived, a power nap can be beneficial.
How to take a power nap
- Set an alarm
- Make it early
- Set the stage