Take Time For Yourself Table of Contents
Take Time For Yourself is a series consisting of 6 parts.
Sleep deprivation can compromise your health, oulook and productivity. The next time you have to cut your nighttime slumber short, plan an hour—or even just 15 minutes—to catch up on your zzz’s with a nap.
A short nap won’t always make up for hours of sleep lost during the night, but it can help rejuvinate your mind and body when you hit a slump. “A short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance,” according to the National Sleep Foundation.
A 20 to 30 minute nap is recommended to improve short-term alertness, and will not leave you feeling groggy after your nap or wide-awake during normal nighttime sleeping hours.
Shorter naps are generally easier to fit in than long, deep sleep naps, and they also won’t leave you feeling with sleep inertia—the disorientation, impairment and grogginess that can follow a longer sleeping session. Even just a 10 minute nap can be enough to get your energy and attention back on track for the rest of your day.
Naps longer than 30 minutes will usually bring you past the second stage of your sleep cycle and into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and slow-wave sleep—times when you dream and your sensory processing and creative thinking is increased, and also stages that allow you to catch up on your sleep hours.
Naps longer than 45 minutes can leave you feeling drowsy after you wake up, so you will generally only want to plan on long naps when you have the time and space to be restful for several consecutive hours in a day.
Rest up so that you can be focused and energized on a daily basis. The next time you find yourself craving food at an off-hour or feeling irritable for no reason, think about how many hours of sleep you have had over the past two nights. If you have not averaged about 15 to 17 hours of sleep over the past 48 hours, you may need to think about catching up with a nap.