Health

How Long Should You Nap To Get The Biggest Brain Benefits?

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I love a good nap, don't you? It's like taking a little time out of your day and just rebooting your brain. Aside from that, napping has far-reaching effects on your health.

Shorter naps give you the best bang for your buck, ' according to experts, but longer naps are good for you too.

Taking a quick 10-20 minute nap will boost your alertness. It's like a perfect midday break at work. If you're looking to improve your memory, try napping for an hour.

Slow wave sleep helps with remembering everything from places to faces. Be warned, the hour-long nap may leave you groggy when you wake. A full cycle of sleep, which is 90 minutes long, helps improve procedural memory and creativity. Artists, take note!

Want to avoid very deep sleep? Nap sitting slightly upright. If you start having dreams while napping, it may be an indication that you aren't sleeping enough.

Give yourself eight hours of sleep every night. Consider sleeping a little bit longer if you're under the age of 20.

Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, said the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.

  • For a quick boost, she recommends a 10-to-20-minute nap.
  • For cognitive memory improvement, however, a 60-minute nap may be better, Dr. Mednick said. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.
  • Finally, a 90-minute nap will most likely turn into a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory.

Sources

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