The Right Way to Take a Nap, According to Science

If you wake up from naps feeling even groggier than before, this is for you.

Few things are as delightful as getting the chance to take an afternoon nap. Plus, research has shown that taking a midday snooze might actually be good for you: A January 2017 study of 3,000 Chinese adults age 65 and older found that taking an hour-long nap in the "post-lunch circadian dip period" (aka that stretch of time after lunch when you get super sleepy) was linked to improved cognitive function. Score!

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The only problem with afternoon naps, however, is that sometimes those much-needed zzzs make you feel even sleepier than you did before your head hit the pillow. Luckily the guys at AsapSCIENCE have made this video, which shows you exactly how to have a refreshing snooze.

Taking a power nap is far more effective than slamming down coffee and energy drinks during your midday slump — you just have to do it right. Even though you may feel so tired you think you could sleep for a full 8 hours, when it comes to napping, less is more. Opinions vary on the ideal nap length — the AsapSCIENCE guys say naps should be 30 minutes or less while the aforementioned study suggests a full hour — but most agree the key is to keep your nap short enough that your body only enters the first two stages of sleep.

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If you enter stage three, which is when deep sleep begins, you'll experience sleep inertia when you wake and feel even groggier than before. You'll likely just want to go back to bed, which totally defeats the purpose of napping in the first place. These quickie naps make it possible to reenergize during your lunch break and still eat lunch. Then when you go back to your desk, you'll be ready to show the rest of the day who's boss.

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