Thoughts on Better Aging

Secrets to Healthy Napping

February 23rd, 2017

Learn how to enjoy a restful nap without ruining your nightly sleep

Have you found yourself relying on naps to get through the day? While napping should never be a substitute for a quality night’s sleep, napping can be a great way to refresh your mind and body and give yourself that extra boost of energy you need to fight off your fatigue and power through your day.

However, it is very important to nap “the right way,” both in order to maximize the benefits of your snooze and to avoid compromising your nighttime sleep. Here are some tips that will help in your quest for the perfect nap.

Keep it Short

Although it may seem counterintuitive, shorter naps are actually more restful than longer ones. Why? Because they keep you from drifting into deep sleep and waking up groggy and tired. The ideal nap length is probably about 20 minutes. This provides time for about 10 minutes of stage 1 sleep (drifting off) and 10 minutes of stage 2 sleep (slowed brain activity), which together are the most restful stages of sleep for a nap. Because everyone sleeps a bit differently, you might experiment with giving yourself a little more time for your nap. But whatever you do, don’t extend your nap past 30 minutes.

Set an Early Afternoon Naptime

Sleep experts agree that early afternoon, between about 1 and 3 pm, is the ideal time for a nap. Energy levels naturally dip around this time due to a rise in the hormone melatonin, so you should fall asleep relatively easily. You definitely do not want to take a nap within 3 hours of your normal bedtime, as this is sure to disrupt the coming night’s sleep.

Find a Dark and Quiet Place

Naturally, it’s going to be difficult to fall asleep in a busy, noisy, brightly lit place. Finding yourself a dark, quiet nook will help you speed through stage 1 sleep and into that restful stage 2 sleep more efficiently. If you can’t be assured of quiet during the day, consider using a white noise machine.
Use an Alarm

For many people, setting an alarm is an absolutely essential precaution against napping past the 30 minute mark, drifting into stage 3 and 4 sleep, and waking up groggy. Setting an alarm is especially important on days where you feel especially tired before your nap.

Still Sleepy? Renew Youth™ Can Help

If a daily power nap isn’t enough to help you feel rested and energized all day long, you may want to examine your nightly sleep habits in more detail. At Renew Youth™, we can offer you a variety of tips and tricks for enjoying healthy sleep, as well as various treatment options to address the hormonal component of healthy sleep. For example, we can offer hormone therapy for menopausal women and andropausal men who suffer from insomnia, as well as melatonin spray to help reset your biological clock and pave the way for restful sleep each night. To learn more about our treatments, please contact us today.

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