Napping isn’t just for kindergarteners or lazy Sunday afternoons. A quick siesta is also an easy way to recharge when you’re losing steam or feeling cranky. Plus, taking a short midday snooze a couple of times a week may help prevent heart attack or stroke, according to a Swiss study in the journal Heart.
A 20-minute nap is usually all you need to feel refreshed and more alert. Longer naps pull you into deeper stages of sleep, and they can leave you feeling groggy afterward or unable to fall asleep at night.
Tips From Power Nappers
Get comfy. Lie down in a quiet, dark room. Wear an eye mask to block light. Shut out noise around you with earplugs or a fan.
Nap early.Early afternoon naps are less likely to disrupt nighttime sleep, especially if you have insomnia. The best time to catch some z’s is about an hour after lunch when your energy and blood sugar levels are low.
Don’t loll around. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and get up as soon as it goes off. Then step outside, jump in place, splash water on your face or take a brisk walk to wake up.
Napping Less Is Best
Taking lengthy or multiple naps doesn’t improve health, say sleep experts. If you feel excessively sleepy during the day, you may have an underlying health issue. Sleep apnea, obesity, diabetes and depression are all linked to daytime sleepiness.