The Do’s and Don’ts of Napping: How Napping Can Impact Your Sleep At Night

For a lot of people, naps are one of the best parts of the day. Not only can a nap feel like a pleasant indulgence, it also refreshes our mind and sets the stage for more efficient thinking and productivity later in the day. There are plenty of benefits to sneaking in a quick snooze in the middle of the day, an important one being lowered stress! It’s no wonder that at least a third of American adults nap, especially older individuals.

But what about when the night comes? Does napping take away from your sleep at night? Not for everyone, but in some cases, it’s certainly possible depending on the circumstances of your naps and nightly sleep. How long are you napping for, where are you doing it, and when are you doing it?

Here are some do’s and don’ts of napping to ensure it’s positively affecting your day and night: 

Don’t nap too close to your bedtime. 

Do you normally sleep at 12 AM but feel yourself dozing off at 7 pm after a hard day’s work? That’s because that nap diminished your levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which contributes to your sleepiness. Taking a nap too late in the day gives you too little time for adenosine to accumulate again. 

Do nap earlier in the day.

If you need to nap, make sure it’s at least 10 hours before you plan on going to sleep! Not only will you have more time to build up that much-needed adenosine, you’ll have plenty of hours in the day to enjoy the alertness, mood boost, and other benefits a nap brings. Naps typically take place in the afternoons before 3 PM. 

Don’t nap too long.

Ever felt groggy after a 2-hour nap? You’re not alone. This grogginess, known as sleep inertia, can get in your way if you really need to be productive right after that nap. Even if it doesn’t directly affect your night, you might end up staying up later if you’re slowed down enough. 

Do check in with your doctor if you’re napping more than usual.

If you’re used to taking naps after only getting 4 hours of sleep but have been napping after 8-hour nights on a repeated basis with no clear explanation why, something might be off with your mental and/or physical health. Several mental or physical disorders can cause you to sleep more.

Do set an alarm.

Even if you know that 45-minute naps work best for you, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually only nap for 45 minutes. Setting an alarm can better ensure you don’t end up napping for a duration that just leads to grogginess rather than an energized day. 

If you’re afraid that you’ll spend at least 20 of that 45 minutes trying to fall asleep, make sure you’re choosing a setting that isn’t too hard to fall asleep in, such as a room with the right amount of noise, light, temperature, and the right sleeping surface. Part of that includes sleeping on the right mattress, so you might want to check out Lull’s Halloween Special to save $250 on any premium memory foam mattress!

Lull Mattresses are made of 3 layers of the highest quality memory foam that make it easier to fall asleep, so you can nap even if you’ve only got 30 minutes to spare. Lull Mattresses are super comfortable, so again, set that alarm because you won’t want to get up!