Even though it’s an activity often associated with laziness, experts claim there’s both an art and a science to napping. The perfect nap varies from person to person; the timing and duration of your nap depends on factors like age, genetics and individual sleep cycle. Americans certainly enjoy a mid-day snooze: more than 30% of adults say they nap on a typical day. Check out these quick nap facts:
*If you’re dragging your feet and need a quick energy jolt, take a 10-to-20-minute power nap.
*To boost your memory, nap for about an hour. You’ll probably feel a little groggy when you wake up, but your ability to recall facts, faces and other info will be refreshed.
*To really recharge, take a 90-minute nap. It’ll give you a full cycle of sleep, meaning you’ll pass through the REM or dreaming stage, and will find it easier to wake up.
*Don’t nap too late in the day or you may find it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime. Between 1 and 4 pm is ideal, though it depends on when your alarm goes off in the morning and when you turn in at night.
*To avoid falling into too deep a sleep (which can make rousing yourself even harder), nap sitting slightly upright.
*If you’re sleep-deprived- and you likely are- napping is a great idea. But napping isn’t a recommended treatment for those suffering from insomnia.