A man enjoying a restful nap.
Healthy Living

Enjoy Rest and Relaxation with These Healthy Napping Tips

Dec 22 2020

Is taking a nice, long nap on your holiday break to-do list? Some rest and relaxation are needed for all of us after everything this year.

You should always aim to get the most out of your naps, especially if you have chores to do or errands to run afterwards. Learn how to have a healthy, productive nap here.

How to take a healthy nap

Increase in alertness, boost in mood, better performance and reduced tiredness are a few of the healthy benefits that can come from taking a nap. However, if you nap too much or too often, it can leave you feeling more tired and disrupt your nightly sleep schedule.

Want to have a healthy nap? Follow these tips.

  • Comfort is key. Make sure you’re napping environment is quiet and comfortable. It should also be dark, and the room should be at a comfortable temperature.
  • The shorter, the better. A good power nap should last between 10 to 20 minutes. If you need more time, still avoid sleeping for over an hour during the day. The longer the nap, the more tired you will feel afterwards.
  • Early afternoon is the best time to nap. Aim for a time between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Naps taken after this time frame could disrupt your nightly sleep.

The different types of naps

Did you know there are many different types of naps? They all serve different functions and purposes. Before taking your nap, first think about why you are tired and need this time to rest.

Check out the different types of naps here.

  • Appetitive Nap: This is the type of nap most of us will enjoy over the holiday season at some point. They are taken just for the simple enjoyment of relaxing and sleeping.
  • Essential Nap: Feeling under the weather? You’ll want to take an essential nap then. This type of nap is needed when you are sick. It lets your body rest and gives your immune system a boost to help it fight off the virus.
  • Recovery Nap: This is the type of nap you take if you are sleep deprived. If your sleep was interrupted the night before or you were up late, you’ll typically take this nap the following day to compensate for the sleep you lost.
  • Prophylactic Nap: Do you work during odd hours, like over a night shift? If so, you’re probably very familiar with this type of nap. It is taken to prepare for sleep loss. Usually, you’ll schedule this nap for right before heading to work or even on break during your shift. Its purpose is to help you stay alert and awake while on the job.
  • Fulfillment Nap: This is the type of nap children take during the years when they have a greater need for sleep. Fulfillment naps are typically part of an infant and toddler’s everyday routine. Children of all ages and older adults could need one of these naps every so often too.

Does napping mean I have a health problem?

It is completely healthy and normal to take naps every so often. However, if you have a sudden increase in your need to nap that could be a problem. Whenever you have questions about your sleeping patterns, you can reach out to your primary care provider.

Learn more about the primary care services we offer at Bon Secours and find a provider near you.

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