Some days life can be so full and exhausting, that we just need to grab a quick nap in order to be able to function and get everything done properly. But what is the best amount of time to sleep for optimal rest with minimal drowsiness?
Believe it or not this is actually a subject that has been studied and tested for quite some time. The length of time you nap for, and the type of sleep you experience, will impact on how rested you are when you wake up and how efficient your will be at tackling the rest of your day.
Sure, we cannot force ourselves to instantly fall asleep, or guarantee that we will have a deep sleep. What we can do is calculate some time for actually nodding off and then set an alarm so that we don’t oversleep and end up feeling even more lethargic and vague than we did before!
Apparently different lengths of sleep are more effective for achieving different results.
The most popular timeframe for napping is between 15-20 minutes. This amount of sleep will reset your system and provide you with a burst of energy and increased motor performance. Which means it is ideal if you are feeling fatigued but need to do some homework or typing, or even learn or play an instrument. This is the ideal nap time if you are the kind of person who often awakes after a nap feeling groggy.
Napping for between 30-60 minutes will provide slow wave sleep which is proven to be more effective for improving decision making skills or recalling information or retaining new information.
In order to achieve REM sleep your nap ideally needs to be between 60-90 minutes. This length of nap time is said to be ideal for creativity and solving creative problems.
Any longer than 90 minutes and I think you are moving beyond the ‘nap’ and into the general ‘sleep’ territory!