During stressful times, after pulling an all-nighter, or maybe if one is simply in need of a break, taking a nap is a great way to recharge. However, many may be familiar with feeling groggy and sometimes even more tired after a nap. Naps can also cause people to have trouble falling asleep later at night, possibly resulting in a worse sleep schedule and negatively affecting sleep quality. But there are many ways to take naps effectively and allow for oneself to feel fully refreshed afterwards.
One key method to the best naps is to keep them short, at around 5-30 minutes. Although many dislike waking up from sleep and sometimes feel as though they should “catch up on missed sleep,” they will feel much better the earlier they wake up. Falling into deep sleep with longer naps can cause one to feel disoriented afterwards, while shorter ones can be rejuvenating. One Valencia High School student stated, “I used to take naps that would last for hours because I would never get enough sleep each night. However, I realized these naps just contributed to worsening my health. I would always feel super groggy after my naps, causing me to lose focus on my work and make me stay up late to finish it. And because my naps were so long, they also made it harder for me to go to sleep at night. I tried to switch to shorter ones, and I hated it at first, but I realized they were actually energizing and helped get my sleep schedule back into place.” As this student’s experience shows, another key method to taking effective naps is to keep one’s sleep schedule in mind. Taking naps too close to one’s bedtime can also make it difficult to fall asleep at proper times. Naps earlier in the day can help people avoid interference with their nighttime sleep.
When taking naps, it is also helpful to maximize the quality of sleep one gets. Altering one’s environment to be more fitting for sleeping can help one become well rested during their nap. Sleeping on something comfortable in a dark and quiet space can be beneficial. Making sure the room isn’t too hot or cold can also go a long way. It is important to relax as a preparation step before proceeding to nap, as it removes any stress that could keep one from falling asleep peacefully.
Naps can be very beneficial for those who happen to feel a bit tired during the day, but only if done properly. Taking the time to plan out good naps is definitely worth it, as it helps people feel recharged for the rest of the day and can greatly improve one’s health. So if you find it hard to keep your eyes open, consider creating an effective napping schedule.