Naps 101: How and when to catch those zzz’s?

HOUSTON, Texas (KPRC) – Studies suggest short naps could help to boost your mood, make you more alert, less impulsive and more tolerant.

Around 50-70 million U.S. adults have difficulty sleeping, and many say they’re not getting the recommended seven hours a night.

While nothing can replace a good night’s rest, Kelsey-Seybold Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Dr. Puneet Patni says a mid-afternoon nap can be beneficial, but you should keep it under 30 minutes.

“If you let it go too long, a lot of times you enter deep sleep or slow wave sleep and then you can find yourself waking up feeling even worse than before your nap. You wake up with that fogginess and really sluggish and groggy, you feel like a truck hit you,” Patni said.

There are two times per day that our circadian rhythm changes: at night and early afternoon. Patni said a power nap about 1 or 2 p.m. can help maintain peak performance.

However, Patni said, don’t assume you should be more tired with age. If you find yourself needing more and more sleep, tell your doctor. It can be a sign of other health problems.