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How Long Should I Nap? Nap Length Guide

How Long Should I Nap? Nap Length Guide


Aoife O.
Sep 28, 2020

A refreshing nap can give you a much-needed boost when you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. It can also disturb your internal clock if you nap too often for too long. So, grab your juice box and cookie, get comfortable and check out our handy guide that will have you napping like a pro.

Napping vs. Sleeping

The ideal nap duration is between 15 minutes and 90 minutes for improved cognitive function, alertness, and boosted creativity. In a deeper sleep of 8+ hours, your body experiences much more regeneration. Memories are cataloged and stored, hormones are balanced, proteins are replenished, and muscles and tissues are repaired. Quality sleep every night keeps you strong and healthy. The occasional day time nap gives you a powerful energy jolt that boosts alertness and creativity.

Benefits of Healthy Napping

  • Improved cognitive performance and concentration
  • Boosts mood
  • Boosts athletic performance
  • Improved short term memory
  • Reduced daytime sleepiness
  • Blood pressure reduced
  • Learning enhanced

Learn more about napping statistics here.

Risks of Napping for Too Long

Napping too long can make you feel drowsy and light-headed when you wake up. You could also have a hard time falling asleep that night, and suffer insomnia for a night or two. Typically, the best amount of time to nap is 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You’ll feel replenished but still be able to sleep through the night.

Typically, the best amount of time to nap is 15 minutes to 90 minutes.

How Long Is a Healthy Nap?

  • The ideal nap length to boost alertness is 15-20 minutes

  • The ideal nap length to boost problem-solving skills is 30-60 minutes
  • The ideal nap length to increase cognitive function and creativity is 90 minutes

2-Hour Naps and 3-Hour Naps

A 2 hour nap and 3 hour nap seem great but chances are, napping for this prolonged period may have more ill effects than better. You may feel more groggy after a 2 hour nap, and may suffer insomnia that night after a 3 hour nap.

The best nap length when sleep-deprived is up to 90 minutes. But, there are some benefits of napping for 3 hours. If you’re recovering from an operation, illness, or resting an injury. When your body is healing, long naps and plenty of rest could help you heal faster.

For many cultures around the world, the day time nap aids their productivity and health. Working in the blistering heat is avoided when napping every day after lunch.

How Long Should a Power Nap Last?

The optimal nap length for a power nap should be between 15-20 minutes. Up to 20 minutes is ideal for most people because it won’t take too much time from your waking hours, alertness is boosted so it’s great for students and anyone who needs a quick boost of energy and concentration.

The Best Time to Take a Nap

A nap length guide is to nap for no more than 90 minutes and not after 3 pm. Napping in the late afternoon can interfere with your nighttime sleep. However, not everyone shares the same sleep schedule, if you’re a shift worker you can play around with ideal nap times.

What Is the Best Nap Length When Sleep Deprived?

Being sleep deprived can occur for many reasons, your neighbor having a house party, jet lag, or illness. The best nap length when sleep-deprived is 90 minutes but can be stretched to 120 minutes without hurting your nighttime sleep.

If insomnia is forcing you to take naps every day, it might be time to make some lifestyle changes. Insomnia can have a huge impact on your physical health and wellbeing and can make you ill. A diet of healthy food, regular exercise, and lots of fresh air can help you sleep better and make you feel good. That doesn’t mean you never treat yourself, you can still have that slice of cake and milky coffee on occasion.


How Long Should a Power Nap Be?

A power nap should be 15-20 minutes and is enough to boost cognitive function and alertness. A disco nap is 30-60 minutes and increases problem-solving and creativity. A cycle nap is 90 minutes and increases cognitive function, alertness, and creativity. A nap for up to 120 minutes won’t hurt your nighttime sleep.

How Long Should a Nap Be for Kids?

A baby up to six months old needs 3 naps per day at 30mins-2hours each. A six to twelve months old needs 2 naps per day at 20mins-3hours each. A one to three years old benefits from 1 three hour nap per day. Five to twelve years, no naps if sleeping 11 hours per night.

How Long Should a Nap Be for Adults?

Napping is favored in many cultures all over the world. A 20-minute nap can boost your immune system and improve health. A quick 20-30 minute nap is enough to boost your mood and increase alertness if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. Your productivity increases and you feel better too.

Is a Two-Hour Nap Too Long?

A 2-hour nap may make you feel groggy after you wake up and you might have trouble falling asleep at night. Aim for napping up to 90 minutes, 120-minutes if necessary. Napping every day for 2 hours could be a sign of sleep deprivation and should be discussed with a doctor.

How Long is a Healthy Nap?

A 90-minute nap takes you through the 5 stages of sleep and is perfect at boosting creativity and alertness. If you’re learning a language, musical instrument, or studying for a test. A 90-minute nap can help you retain newly learned information. A catnap of 20 minutes is also ideal for boosting alertness in a quick time.

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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