Are you at the woeful age where naps are a no-no, and yet you never have the energy to do anything? Well, I have good news for you. The good news is that those wonderful afternoon siestas are back on the a-okay list. That’s right, you can feel free to take a quick break from mowing the lawn, painting that fence or whatever home improvement project you’ve been working on and shield your eyes from the sun, lay back in the hammock and catch some z’s.
So how long should you nap for? That all depends upon what reason you have for taking a lazy siesta.
15-20 minutes: a “reset nap”, meaning you will be more alert and able to continue your task effectively. Increases motor function.
20-30 minutes: Memory and brain function is increased.
60-90 minutes: learning and problem-solving is increased.
Naps are best taken in the early to mid afternoon, and last, on average, 40 minutes. Remember that if you’re thinking about taking a nap, you want to be aware of your environment (if it’s sunny, put on sun screen; if there are bugs then use bug repellent), block out any light around you so you will fall asleep more quickly and make sure you stay warm: body temperature drops while you’re asleep.
So why nap instead of sucking down a quad-shot latte, no-foam (can you tell I work at Starbucks)? This answer is easy: caffeine actually decreases brain function and does not eliminate fatigue.
There are some negative side effects of napping: sleep inertia (when you wake up groggy) and affecting your sleeping patterns on a whole can be noticed. There have been some indications that napping can increase risk of heart failure if the risk is already present.
So go ahead and take a nap on the couch, in a hammock or on the floor if that’s what you like! Napping can actually help you achieve a completed project without a loss of quality. So good luck, nappers!