Napping Helps You Sleep Better, not the Opposite

We’ve heard the opposite story for so long now, that it is interesting to hear from Dr Sara Mednick the author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life.

I’ve just posted a page up on Napping so you can read more detail, and watch a one hour video of her speaking about the topic in the US.

So here are some figures on how napping can help you sleep better:

  • Decreased time to fall asleep at night by 14%
  • Increased ability to sleep through the night by 12%
  • Increased nighttime sleep by about 20 minutes
  • Increased refreshed feeling by 5%

And these are just the results in relation to the following night’s sleep.

Go to the Napping page to find out other physical, psychological, intellectual, memory and safety reasons why you should nap.

In fact, the book and video are both brilliant – showing the evidence behind the best length of time to nap, the best time of the day to nap, how to nap to match your desired outcome (memory, refreshment, clear your head, increase your creative problem solving ability, etc), how napping can elevate your mood, your accuracy, interpersonal relationships, memory, learning and a whole lot more.

Wow, it is great information!

What have you found when you napped during the day for up to 90 minutes?

Thank you for putting your comments below to help other people.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Val McCrae June 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Yes, I have been discovering recently – that despite all instructions to the contrary – a day time nap does often help me get to sleep more quickly – and sleep better. I have been noticing this myself so am interested to see some research to support my experience. It does seem to matter when – and for how long – and I wouldnt want to do it every day – but three or so times a week seems to refresh me and make me more relaxed. And also, as you suggest, Elizabeth, knowing this is a possibility helps one to be less stressed at night if awake.
It does seem true – that given the time and opportunity – most people would be a bit sleepy after lunch!


Elizabeth June 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Thank you Val
Your personal experience offered here is very valuable to everyone.
All the theory in the world will never beat someone who has taken action.
We appreciate your help.


Tanya January 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I love to have a nap, but find I need to have it earlier in the day (any time up to 2pm) otherwise it does seem to stop me from being able to get to sleep that night. Is there any reason for that to occur?


Elizabeth January 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hi Tanya
It’s more likely that when you have your nap in the beginning of the day (not later) that it consists more of the light REM-type sleep. When you sleep later in the day it is more likely to contain more deeper, slow wave sleep – which might take the edge off your desire to fall into deep sleep at night. That’s my guess. In the Take a Nap, Change Your Life book there’s more great information about napping. And how to select the best time of the day to nap, depending on your desired result. Do you want to creatively problem solve (more REM-style-nap), or to remember new information, or to refresh… etc etc. Hope that helps


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