The secret to successful napping is to keep your naps short. Naps that last fewer than 30 minutes bring a host of benefits. Among recent findings…

Heart health. Short naps lower risk for cardiovascular disease…but naps longer than 45 minutes are linked with increased risk for heart problems—particularly among people 60 and older—according to several studies, including one by researchers at University of Tokyo.

Creativity. Naps that are so short that the napper never descends into deep sleep are associated with significant post-nap creativity gains…naps long enough to allow deep sleep do not, according to studies at MIT and Harvard. Deep sleep usually occurs within 25 to 30 minutes.

Mood and energy. Naps of about 20 minutes improve mood and running speed…naps of 90 minutes make these worse, according to Tunisian researchers.

Best: When you nap, set an alarm for 30 minutes. Nap in the early afternoon—any later could make it difficult to fall asleep at night.


Related Articles