Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults
Napping isn't just for children. Understand the pros and cons of napping and the best way to take a nap.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you're sleep deprived or just looking for a way to relax, you might be thinking about taking a nap. Napping at the wrong time of day or for too long can backfire, though. Understand how to get the most out of a nap.
What are the benefits of napping?
Napping offers various benefits for healthy adults, including:
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
- Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory
What are the drawbacks to napping?
Napping isn't for everyone. Some people simply can't sleep during the day or have trouble sleeping in places other than their own beds, which napping sometimes requires. Napping can also have negative effects, such as:
Oct. 03, 2015
- Sleep inertia. You might feel groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.
- Nighttime sleep problems. Short naps generally don't affect nighttime sleep quality for most people. However, if you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might worsen these problems. Long or frequent naps might interfere with nighttime sleep.
See more In-depth
- Sleep hygiene tips. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.htm. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Lau H, et al. Daytime napping: Effects on human direct associative and relational memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2010;93:554.
- What are sleep deprivation and deficiency? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Your guide to healthy sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/links. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Milner CE, et al. Benefits of napping in healthy adults: Impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping. Journal of Sleep Research. 2009;18:272.
- Goldman SE, et al. Association between nighttime sleep and napping in older adults. Sleep. 2008;31:733.
- Cirelli C. Sleep insufficiency: Definition, consequences, and management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Dhand R, et al. Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. 2006;12:379.