Should Adults Nap During The Day?


After I had my first child, I started to nap during the day when she rested. I could barely get through the day without one as I adjusted to life as a mom. However, I found that it started to interrupt my PM sleep and looked into whether or not it made sense for me to take that (much needed) afternoon break. Should an adult nap during the day?

Turns out it depends…

If you are someone who has trouble sleeping at night, a quick daytime nap can hurt your chances of catching a full night of zzzs.

Even just a little bit of a power nap reduces your nighttime sleep drive,” says Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. “The nap becomes nothing more than another episode of fragmented sleep.”

So, the 15 minute power nap was actually hurting me in the long run.

HOWEVER, if you are able to nap without it interrupting your sleep patterns – go for it!! Studies have shown improvement in memory, lower blood pressure and a reduction in cardiovascular issues.

In fact, a 2008 City University of New York study found that a 45-minute daytime nap can improve memory function. And previous studies have found that short afternoon siestas can lower blood pressure, and even seem to reduce the risk of death by cardiovascular events.

Do you nap when given the chance?

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  1. Wheatly wrote:

    I nap occasionally, mostly to make up for a particularly poor night of sleep. Yes, it can affect my next night’s sleep pattern, but I adjust this by taking a 1/2 a Benadryl before bed.

    My rule of thumb is this: go ahead and lie down. If you’re not zonked out within 15 minutes, get up: you don’t need a nap. Always set an alarm for an hour or so later and force yourself to get up so you don’t sleep too much.

    Posted 6.2.10

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