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Sleep: How to nap like a pro

The best time to nap

The best time to nap

The most natural time to take a nap, based on our circadian rhythms, is in the afternoon sometime between 2 and 4pm. 

The ideal time to snooze is when a nap would contain a good balance of slow wave and REM sleep. This balance typically occurs 6 to 8 hours after waking.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Sleep: How to nap like a pro

Sleep: How to nap like a pro

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150106-how-to-nap-like-a-pro#

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

The best time to nap

The most natural time to take a nap, based on our circadian rhythms, is in the afternoon sometime between 2 and 4pm. 

The ideal time to snooze is when a nap would contain a good balance of slow wave and REM sleep. This balance typically occurs 6 to 8 hours after waking.

Timing is everything

The best way to nap also depends on what kind of effects you’re looking for:

  • If you’re looking for a restorative nap, you should sleep later in the day when you have an increased amount of slow wave sleep.
  • If you’re looking for a nap that might aid your creativity and problem solving, you should sleep earlier in the day when you experience more REM.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Basic categories of nap

  • The Preparatory Nap: This is the planned nap. The responsible nap.
  • The Habitual Nap: You make time for it regularly. It's a habit and it's scheduled.
  • The...

When to nap

There's no such thing as a single perfect time to take a nap, but a commonly recommended window. For most people, early afternoon is best. 

We are biphasic sleepers: we pack in most of our sleep at night, but most people's brains experience a dip in alertness somewhere between 1 and 4 p.m.

Sleep inertia

It is the state of impaired cognition, grogginess, and disorientation commonly experienced on awakening from sleep.

This is why most experts suggest avoiding naps between 40 and 60 minutes in length. 

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Sleep deprivation

Willpower, memory, judgement, and attention all suffer. You drop and bump into things, crave sugar, overeat, gain weight. You’re more irritable, anxious, overly negative, emotionally reactive, ...

Get through sleep deprivation:

  • Stabilize your blood sugar, by eating hearty food (protein and fat) more often.
  • Reducing refined carbs and increasing fats and proteins is the general rule to help you function better when sleep deprived.
  • B-complex vitamin supplements can give you an immediate boost in alertness and mental clarity.
  • Soak in an Epsom salt bath - might even help you get enough energy to exercise the next day;
  • Hydrate: Drink more water than you usually do to help compensate.
  • Exercise is the single best way to “take out the trash” in your body, and after staying up more hours than you should.

How alcohol affects sleep

A lot of the symptoms associated with a hangover are a product of sleep deprivation.

Alcohol affects our ability to get into what is known as rapid eye movement (REM...

Eating before bed

It is important to leave at least a couple of hours between eating and sleeping. 

There is a whole raft of so-called sleepy foods – anything containing tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, magnesium, calcium, potassium – often eaten in the hope they will aid sleep. 

If you do want to eat these foods, do it because it’s a nice ritual, not because you need it to sleep.

A cure for sleepwalking

There isn’t a cure. 

People who sleepwalk usually are advised to keep their room safe by locking windows and doors, and to maintain what’s called good sleep hygiene: keep to a regular sleep routine, turn mobile phones off, avoid stimulants, and so on. Sleepwalking can often occur as a result of poor or disrupted sleep.

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