Why do naps feel better than sleep?

Ninety-minute naps are great, if you can afford to take your time. Sleep cycles run in 90-minute patterns, which takes us back and forth between lighter and deeper sleep. Most of us have between four and six sleep cycles per night, so if you can take a 90-minute nap, you'll have a full sleep cycle. After waking up from one of these epic naps, you'll likely be more mentally focused and more productive, plus you'll notice an increase in your physical energy and feel more emotionally balanced.

Unlike one-and-a-half hour naps, 60-minute naps don't allow you to finish a full sleep cycle, so they can make you feel a little tired. But if you have time (lunch break, anyone?) they're usually still worth it. According to Michael Breus, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and one of Upwave's sleep experts, 60-minute naps can help improve memory-related tasks. Sixty-minute naps improve memory, he says, although because they can make you dizzy, taking a shorter nap is usually a better option.

Arguably, this is the most effective siesta duration (unless you have an hour and a half to spare, of course). Ten- to 20-minute naps will help you wake up with little or no lightheadedness, so you can run throughout the afternoon and don't have to worry about falling later. In a study of first-year medical students, brief afternoon naps improved participants' mental acuity and alertness, benefits we could all use a little more. Breus is a fan of 25-minute naps.

Twenty-five-minute naps work better, he says, because you get real rest, which reduces the body's need for sleep without causing the sleep inertia that comes with 30-minute and longer naps. But it's important to remember that a six-minute nap cannot replace a proper night's rest. Six-minute energy naps are useful if you get enough sleep, Breus says, but if you lack sleep, they probably won't be enough. Your body needs more rest.

So, if your eyes are sleepy, take a short (or long) nap. We'll be here when you wake up and you'll probably feel better about it. What do your dreams say about you? WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Research suggests that a short nap, first or mid-afternoon, provides the greatest rejuvenation compared to naps at any other time of the day.

Energy naps are the most beneficial type of nap for most adults, according to the American Sleep Association. The main benefit of an energetic nap is that it helps you feel refreshed, so you feel more awake for the rest of the day. More research is needed to understand the relationships between naps and these negative outcomes in older adults. However, this is not a long-term solution, as naps and caffeine are known to increase alertness only for a short period of time.

Taking naps during the day decreases homeostatic sleep desire, which can help us feel more awake and perform better. However, you can still feel disoriented even after a short nap, so taking a nap can be detrimental if you need to return to work immediately after. Naps are a temporary aid to improve alertness, not a replacement for regular and adequate sleep at night. Long naps of one to two hours during the afternoon will mean you'll have less sleep (and need less sleep) that night.

These describe the total recommended sleep hours per day and are intended to include both nighttime sleep and daytime naps. However, if you're struggling to stay awake, taking a short nap at any time can help you stay alert. .