Taking a short nap in the early afternoon can help you manage the negative effects of not getting enough deep, healthy sleep the night before
For typical healthy adults – less than 7 hours of high-quality sleep most nights – is considered unhealthy. 7–9 hours is the expert-recommended number of hours.
Ideally, you don’t want to nap too long (i.e. more than 30-to max 40 minutes for more than the typical fatigue levels) or too late in the day, as this can make falling asleep at night more challenging.
Strategic short napping can also be helpful if you anticipate a long night ahead of or if you’re experiencing a high level of fatigue in the afternoon – say after an intense workout or a marathon work session.
- Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
My best advice is that you develop a strong daily sleep readiness habit. Learn how to fall asleep faster, deeper and longer. For example, have you ever asked yourself:
- How do I fall asleep in 1 minute or less
Try to get 7–9 hours of high-quality sleep. Make sure you get to bed early enough whenever possible so you can wake up on time and get the amount of sleep you need in the process.
If you do get the right amount of high-quality sleep most nights, you’re less likely to need a nap.
And when you do nap try to keep it short and early. 10–30 minutes is recommended ideally not later than 2 or 3 PM.