The Art of the Power Nap

Taking a nap is healthy, but you have to do it right. Here's how to get the most out of your power nap!

Taking a nap can be absolute bliss. Especially after a long day at work, it can be nice to doze off on the couch. However, you should keep in mind that if your nap lasts too long, you may find it harder to fall asleep at night or wake up more often. Overall, naps are very good for your health. Your energy levels rise, your mood improves and you feel recharged. After a nap, your cognitive and physical performance also improves. Your heart health also gets a boost, and your memory works just a little better. So naps are healthy, but there are some requirements that the perfect power nap must meet for it to be effective.

Try not to let a nap last longer than 20 minutes. That way, you won't end up in a deep sleep that could disrupt your sleep. So be sure to set an alarm clock before you plop down on the couch. Occasionally, a longer nap may also be necessary and effective. For example, if you work night shifts or if you've had a major physical exertion. In this case, a ninety-minute nap may yield the best results because you will be going through the entire sleep cycle. Your muscles will have a chance to recover. The best time for a power nap is before 3 p.m. The closer the time of your nap is to the time you normally go to bed, the more likely your sleep will be disrupted.