When we were children, we hated naptime because it took away from playtime. Now that we’re adults, it’s great to be able to sneak away and doze for a half-hour. But are naps good for you?

There are certainly many benefits to naps. They can relax and refresh you, improving your mood, alertness, memory, and performance. Therefore, a short nap can be good if you are:

  • Feeling sick.
  • About to work a long work shift or switch the time when you work.
  • Unexpectedly tired because you didn’t sleep well the night before.

However, there are drawbacks. Some people don’t feel refreshed when they wake up, but instead feel groggy and disoriented. Naps can also interfere with your nighttime sleep, especially if you take too long a nap, take one too late in the day, or already deal with insomnia.

A sudden, unexplainable increase in a need for naps should be discussed with your doctor. You may have a medical condition that is disrupting your nighttime sleep, or a new medicine might be causing sleeping problems.

A woman takes a nap

If you do need to take a nap during the day, make sure to:

  • Keep it short. Ten to 30 minutes is the ideal length.
  • Nap in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 p.m. This is the time least likely to interfere with nighttime sleep.
  • Sleep in a quiet, dark room with few distractions. This is the most restful scenario.

A good nap can be very beneficial. Just make sure it doesn’t disrupt your evening sleep or the rest of your waking life.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with a CEENTA doctor, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.

 


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