Napping isn't just for children; napping also provides health benefits for adults.
Naps can help us improve our reaction times and focus, improve our mood and control our emotions. The important thing to keep in mind is that long naps can affect nightime sleep quality as well as impair the ability to fall asleep at night. The recommended length of time for a nap is between 30 and 40 minutes in the early afternoon. If you are a novice when it comes to napping or would like to improve your napping ability, here are a few tips:
Create the opportunity
Set aside 30 minutes to specifically rest. Be sure your distractions are minimized, which includes shutting off your phone and letting people know that you will be resting. Set an alarm or have someone get you up after 30 minutes.
Have a restful environment
If possible, have a quiet, dark room that's not too hot or too cold. Room darkening shades or curtains can really help to create this environment. White noise machines can also help to get your body in a relaxed mode. Avoid napping at your desk or on the couch. Your body is used to your bed so that's the optimal napping space for you.
Nix the TV naps
While it may seem like the perfect place to nap, falling asleep on the couch while watching TV can make you less likely to sleep at night and the light from the TV can interferes with production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin as well as your natural circadian rhythm.
So take advantage of the potential health benefits of napping. If, however, you find yourself having an increased need for naps with no obvious reason for it, consult your physician.