Do power naps work?

Benefits of napping can include: relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood and improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion and fewer accidents and mistakes.
Yes. By taking a brief fifteen to thirty minute nap you reduce the body’s sleep pressure or drive. It is similar to hunger: if you eat a small amount you will become less hungry, and if you sleep for a short period of time, you will become less sleepy. However, you should be careful and try not to sleep for much longer than thirty minutes as you may go into deep sleep and it is very difficult to awaken from deep sleep. Many of my patients will tell me that if they nap too long they actually feel worse than they did before the nap.

Research shows that a midday nap of 30 to 60 minutes can improve the ability to learn a new motor skill and can reverse information overload.

These 30-minute naps seem to prevent on-the-job burnout, while an hour-long snooze can actually boost performance back to early morning levels.

Theoretically, during sleep the brain is able to store information it has gathered into memory. Taking a nap at midday allows to file everything we've gathered to that point and to wake up with empty storage space.

Picture of sleeping teenager

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.