Napping 101: The Science and Art of Taking a Short Snooze

Napping for 20 to 30 minutes during the day offers numerous benefits, including improved mental functioning, memory, creativity, and stress reduction. It enhances problem-solving abilities and can aid in learning new motor skills. Short naps may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering “fight or flight” chemicals. However, napping for longer periods can lead to sleep inertia and disrupt nighttime sleep, particularly for older adults. To maximize benefits and minimize risks, keep naps short, nap in the early afternoon, and maintain a sleep-conducive environment. Addressing the root cause of daytime sleepiness is crucial, and napping should complement, not replace, nighttime rest.

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