Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly

Napping (Noun)

To sleep for a brief period, often during the day; doze.

Everyone knows how harmful sleep deprivation can be, Being overly tired on a regular basis can increase your chances of suffering chronic diseases or illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly

Sleep deprivation can also put you at a greater risk of suffering from fatigue-related accidents (Cue – car crash!), experiencing bad moods, affecting personal relationships or suffering poorly in your job or career.

Caffeine, energy drinks or other stimulants and pick-me-up’s are not the answer. Sleeping medications are also not the way to go.

Napping, when done the right way, can actually improve your health and enhance mental and physical performance.

Napping can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Improves Cognitive Function
  • May Be Beneficial for Heart Health
  • Helps Reduce Stress
  • Helps reduce Anxiety
  • Fights Food Cravings
  • Can Help Improve Physical Performance

So let’s narrow it down just a little more. Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

“A short nap — somewhere between just five and 20 minutes — may give you an immediate “pick-me-up.” This type of short nap is thought to provide benefits of improved alertness for a limited period without leaving you feeling groggy.”

Several ex-presidents and famous artists used napping as a tool to boost productivity and improve overall work and creativity.

Short naps are thought to improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress. Napping can also be helpful with controlling Cortisol and other hormones related to stress.

Naps can be beneficial for producing improved cognitive performance for a longer period of time, sometimes up to several hours.

The Bad

Longer naps — those that last for more than 30 minutes — can produce a short-term impairment immediately after waking up due to “sleep inertia,”.

When you wake up feeling groggy, this affects your work and productivity. In fact, you will find yourself feeling more lethargic and less likely to return to work or your normal everyday activities.

For insomniacs, napping can be a problem as it will only prolong or aggravate their sleep issues.

The Ugly

“The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, If you frequently suffer from insomnia come bedtime, you’ll probably want to take your naps earlier in the day.”

Napping too late in the day can negatively affect your nighttime sleep. Napping can leave you with a feeling of lethargy, grogginess and disorientation. If you are an insomniac, think very carefully before taking a nap as this will affect any improvement on your night time sleep.

The key is to experiment. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for someone else.


Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly.

My experience?

After taking days off from my night shifts, I tend to wake up mid morning on my first night shift back. After a workout, grocery shopping and all of the other necessary daily tasks I like to go back for a mid arvo nap. I usually take 2-3 hours and that’s what works for me. I wake up with enough time to have a meal and get ready for work.

So, my best advice is to experiment. Try a short nap and see how you feel. Try a longer nap (like me) and assess your energy at the beginning of your shift and after the end of your day.

Take notes.

Keep a sleep diary for your napping to assess how you feel. You may feel more tired and lethargic. Maybe you feel more energised. You don’t want to feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. Take notes and compare them with each of your experiments.

*Sleep Inertia – Feeling groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.

*Nighttime sleep problems – Short naps may be effective for you but anything longer than 30 minutes can only aggravate insomnia.

6 replies
  1. Candace
    Candace says:

    I know all too well what night shift work does to our sleep habits, especially if the shifts are consecutive with a few days off. I always had to take two sizeable naps during the day and the larger one before my shift began, to feel perky.

    • Dee
      Dee says:

      Naps can definitely work and if you find they work for you Candace, then keep them up. Night shift can certainly mess with you :/

  2. Carole
    Carole says:

    I find I only nap when I’m tired ie didn’t sleep well the night before or I’ve eaten the wrong food that makes me crash. The majority of the time it’s longer than 20 mins it’s normally 60 to 90 mins – afterwards I find I get a lot more energy and then go to bed much later. My preference is to go to bed earlier and get 8 hours sleep – one of my goals for the year – I’ve made it to seven-and-a- half

    • Dee
      Dee says:

      Hi Carole, I feel that napping shouldn’t become a habit but napping should be done only when you truly need it. Yep, my naps are always longer and that’s what helps me get through night shift. If I had my way, I’d go to bed earlier and aim for 7-8 hours. Seven and a half is still pretty good 🙂

  3. Mui
    Mui says:

    I love naps. I find that my naps usually take around 90 minutes, which I understand is a regular sleep cycle, and I wake up feeling refreshed. Sometimes, if I can only nap for a short while, I wake up feeling groggy and grumpy. I guess I’m just not one for power naps 🙂

    • Dee
      Dee says:

      I still tend to take longer naps when on night shifts (up to 2 hours) and it works for me. If it’s working then I say keep it up 🙂


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