JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A local sleep expert says adults shouldn’t have to nap if they’re getting the right amount of sleep at night, but who is doing that?!
What we need to know is how to achieve the perfect nap where you feel well rested and alert.
QUESTION: Is there such a thing as the perfect nap?
- Director of the Sleep Medicine Program at UF health Jacksonville Dr Mariam Louis
- and the Sleep Foundation
According to sleep experts, we are doing it all wrong. If your naps are making you feel sleepier, Dr. Louis says it’s called sleep inertia.
You can avoid that with shorter naps, but also she suggests making sure you are getting a good consolidated night sleep.
“If you do have to nap, really a power nap of 20 to 30 minutes ideally before 2 to 3 pm," Dr. Mariam Louis suggests.
Dr. Louis says studies show napping for 20 to 30 minutes can improve your memory, help you learn, help you feel more alert, and improve your focus. Too long of a nap will put you into stage 3 or REM sleep.
“If you hit stage three which is deep sleep or REM, and you wake up from it, that is mimicking you waking up in the middle of the night," she explains.
The Sleep Foundation says shift workers or emergency personnel who work crazy hours may benefit from taking a longer nap around an hour and a half in order to cycle through all the phases of sleep. That’s only in the case where you are trying to avoid fatigue.