Can Taking a Nap Be Good For Your Health?

True or false: one-third of adult Americans take a nap on any given day?

You may be surprised to find it’s true! According to the Pew Research report “Nap Time,” this phenomenon is not reserved exclusively for toddlers. It also doesn’t mean that those adult snoozers are lazy or by default sick or elderly.

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The National Sleep Foundation explains it this way:

“As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance.”

Famous nappers have included Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci, and Thomas Edison.

Others say a nap can help bridge the gap for you if you aren’t able to get a full eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. In addition, it can rejuvenate you for a creative challenge. A mere 20-minute catnap can be all you need to ward off drowsiness and keep you alert throughout the day.

Here’s how you’ll feel after taking a…

  • 20-minute power nap – on your “game” with more coordination. A “stage 2” nap (a short slumber of 20 minutes or less which terminates before the occurrence of deep slow-wave sleep) helps provide stamina and motor skills processing.
  • 30-60-minute slow-wave nap – better able to make decisions, memorize information, and recall directions.
  • 60-90 minute REM nap – equipped to solve creative problems. Rapid eye movement or REM sleep plays a role in making new connections in the brain and improves perceptual processing.

When waking from a nap that lasts anywhere from 10-20 minutes, you may be afflicted with something called “sleep inertia,” which is a sense of grogginess that can take up to ½ hour to lift. This is something to note if you’ll need to be alert immediately upon waking. In addition, you’ll want to avoid grabbing a nap too close to bedtime or you risk missing the sandman altogether that night.

Armed with this news, coffee may become a thing of the past. Therefore, the next time you feel droopy during the day, catch some zzz’s instead of going for java!  It’ll revive you sans edgy side effects.

Resources & Nap Accessories:

Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D. and Mark Ehrman

Ostrich nap pillow

Napping 101 by Casper:

Napping 101 |


Leann Forst, MBA, CHC — Family Health & Cancer Coach

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t”. And Get Leann’s Nutrient Deficiency Quiz here.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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