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HomeHealthIs it good to sleep in the afternoon?

Is it good to sleep in the afternoon?

If you are in office and feeling drowsiness after a hard work you might be in confusion like whether to take a short nap or not.  Another question in your mind will be, am I a lazy to sleep in the office? So, is it good to sleep for a short time in the afternoon?

Numerous experiments have proven that there are many health benefits of taking a short nap during a day. Do not worry if you cannot fall asleep because putting your head down for just a few minutes each day will help you develop a better memory, increase your reaction time, be more alert and boost your productivity. It may even save your life.

Even the shortest of naps can have a surprisingly big impact in your memory. In 2008, scientists from the University of Dusseldorf asked volunteers to memorize a list of words in groups, group one did not sleep, group two slept for 40 minutes and group three for six minutes sleep. The 40-minute sleepers did better, and those who slept for 6 minute had the highest marks.

Research by Nasa revealed that pilots who take a 25-minute nap in the cockpit are subsequently 35 per cent more alert than their non-napping colleagues and twice as focused. Therefore it is clear that nap for a short time period is beneficial. So, how much time to sleep and which time of the day to sleep?

Firstly, you should know basic knowledge about sleep cycle. There are two types of sleep; REM (Rapid eye movement) and NREM (Non-rapid eye movement, it includes four stage 1-4). Light sleep is stage 1, 2 where as deep sleep is stage 3, 4 of NREM  There will be the sleep cycle of about 90 min, transition from NREM stage 1,2,3,4 then to REM sleep. Dreams mostly occur in REM sleep. We wake up with biological clock in morning after REM sleep but when someone tries to make you wake up , it is difficult in REM than in NREM sleep. In the morning, if you wake up after completing the REM sleep, then you will feel fresh but if someone wake up you in your deep sleep that is stage 3,4 of NREM you might feel drowsiness.

Considering the sleep cycle in your mind, now talk about the short sleep in the afternoon. The ideal time for nap is different for individuals. If the short sleep is within stage 1, 2 and you wake up then your nap will be perfect, you will feel alert. Usually about 20 min of nap is preferable for most individuals. More than 30 min sleep might leads to deep stage of the sleep.  When you wake up in deep stage of sleep your brain will slow down and you might feel drowsiness and lazy even after nap.

If you have enough time then try to complete a sleep cycle of 90 min in afternoon. Where you go from the lightest stage through the deepest stage of sleep and back again, so, you will wake feeling refreshed.


Suitable time to take a nap depends on the time you woke up in the morning. The body’s natural energy rhythms will be in decline level after about 6 hours of your wake up time. So, those who wake up at 6 am in the morning it is better to take a short nap at 12 pm.

Hope after reading this article, you may have some picture about the short nap in the day. And if someone bullied you about your day sleeping habit kindly share this knowledge.

Source: Mail Online
Pic source: The Conversation

Dr. Sanjay Maharjan, MD
Dr. Sanjay Maharjan, MD
MD in Basic and Clinical Physiology


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