A cultural norm and even a constitutional right in some countries, napping can improve cognitive efficiency and provide a well-deserved break from your busy day.
But different naps do different things for your body.
So what’s the best snooze for you?
The 90 Minute Nap
The 90-minute nap covers the full sleep cycle, including both light and deep stages.
During REM (rapid eye movement), the deepest stage of the sleep cycle, the brain is most active.
This is when vivid dreaming can occur. 90-minute naps can help improve your emotional memory and increase your creativity.
You should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!
The 60 Minute Nap
The 60-minute nap includes deep, NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.
There is no dreaming.
This snooze can improve your memory for facts, faces, and names.
Unfortunately, you may feel some grogginess upon awakening.
The 30 Minute Nap
Of the four nap options, 30-minute naps are by far the least restorative.
This is because after twenty minutes of rest you’ll hit the deeper stages of sleep, yet your body will not have made it through the entire sleep cycle.
Either extend your nap time or keep it under 20 minutes (to maintain the lightest of sleep stages), and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.
The 10-20 Minute Power Nap
Ten-minute naps are often referred to as “Power Naps.”
These naps are ideal for boosting energy and alertness.
Because they include only NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, you should find it easy to wake up and start moving afterwards.
Naps Are The Brain’s Way Of Rebooting
A quick nap can reboot your brain and bring you up to speed.
Of course, everyone is different, so you may have to experiment to determine your own optimized sleep cycle.
But for the most part, either a brief 10-minute nap or a 90-minute rest works best.