I love naps. But we just learned that day time ones aren't good for us. But what about short naps when you just want to recharge just a bit? Research published in Sleep suggests the best nap length is just ten minutes.
Australian researchers studied twenty-four young adults who sleep well at night who don't usually nap. They participated napping for a period of 5, 10, 20, and 30 minutes (plus a control of no napping) and then were measured across a range of benefits for three hours afterwards. The results:
The 5-minute nap produced few benefits in comparison with the no-nap control. The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes. The 20-minute nap was associated with improvements emerging 35 minutes after napping and lasting up to 125 minutes after napping. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, indicative of sleep inertia, followed by improvements lasting up to 155 minutes after the nap.