How Naps Work

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Sleep scientists say there’s a right way to nap, and understanding the body’s natural sleep cycles is a key factor in reaping the benefits.

Naps have been proven to make some people more alert and give their brains a power boost.

If you’re not experiencing those results, you might be doing it wrong.

Sleep scientists say there’s a right way to nap, and understanding the body’s natural sleep cycles is a key factor in reaping the benefits.

There are two kinds of sleep which together last approximately 90 to 120 minutes, namely non-rapid eye movement followed by rapid eye movement,

During non-rapid eye movement, you experience two phases - the first is light and intermediate, and the second is a deep slow-wave sleep. Wake up during a deep sleep, and you may take some time to feel alert.

Rapid eye movement is where dreams happen, and if you’re experiencing that in a brief nap, you’ve got a bigger problem as that means you’re sleep deprived.

Experts say that 10-20 minutes is the right duration to make a person feel awake.

The next increments are 60 and 90 minutes, as those are in sync with the stage durations of the sleep cycle.

Regardless of the duration, it’s best if the nap occurs between 1 and 4 PM in line with your body’s natural circadian rhythms.

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