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Tips for Napping Without Affecting Your Night Sleep

Although naps do not alleviate sleep deficit, they are a great way to recover from a bad night and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, about one-third of adults in the US take naps. This practice is so common that even some cultures have naps built into the daily flow, also known as siesta. To begin with, let's take a look at the different kinds of naps.

Recovery Nap

This is a rest that you would take after a night of bad sleep, disrupted sleep, or sleep deprivation. The recovery nap is a way to recuperate some energy from that one night of lost sleep.

Prophylactic Nap

This is also a preventing type of nap. For example, if you are a night shift worker, you might take a nap before work.

Appetitive Nap

Some naps are just taken for enjoyment. This is something you might do like on a weekend or afternoon just for the pleasure of it.

Essential Nap

This one is essential for your body to recover. So, for example, if you are sick or dealing with some immune-related condition, your body needs to get enough sleep to mount an immune response and help your body restore, repair, and heal itself.

Sleep Drive

There are lots of different benefits of taking a daytime nap. The longer we stay awake, the stronger our sleep drive becomes. So the more we stay awake, the more we start to build up sleep pressure, and then as we sleep through the night, we can rest more effectively.

Also read: DOES WORKING OUT HELP WITH SLEEP APNEA?

However, that can be counterproductive if you're napping for too long or too late in the day. Doing so can decrease your sleep drive too much so that you don't sleep as well that night.

Benefits of Napping

-Reduces excessive daytime sleepiness.

-Improves cognition: After sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality, you may have noticed that your understanding isn't as good. Maybe you're not as mentally sharp, and it's harder to focus and remember things. So napping is a way to restore those cognitive capabilities.

-Improves memory and motor skills: Some studies have shown that if you give people a list of words and then have them take a nap, they will remember more the words after taking a nap versus if they hadn't.

-Improves emotional regulation: It helps to reduce emotional reactivity, makes you feel calmer and less irritable.

Goggle, Cisco, Zappos, The Huffington Post, NASA, and Ben & Jerry's all provided nap pods to their employees because they know how naps can benefit the productivity, creativity, and performance of their workers.

How To Take Naps Effectively?

-Avoid long naps: 10 to 20 minutes is ideal. Remember that sleeping too long during the day can cause sleep inertia, where you feel groggier and tired after a nap. Set the alarm, so you don't oversleep.

-Schedule it: If you have a long drive ahead of you, don't wait until being very sleepy. Instead, plan it ahead of time.

-Be intentional: Considering the different types of naps mentioned above, decide ahead of time what you want to get out of it.

-Create a relaxing environment: Block out the noise.

-Don't nap after 3 pm: Taking a nap too late in the day can disrupt your nighttime sleep.

Naps are a great way to boost your energy, alertness, and productivity. Follow these tips take into account your own sleep needs, rhythm, and body clock. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

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