Do you like taking naps? Well if you want them to be effective, science says they should be this long…no longer than 30 minutes! If you sleep any longer you might not feel as well-rested as you were hoping. According to science you go into REM deep sleeping anywhere from 90-110 minutes and you do not want to wake up from a nap during the deep sleep stage because you’ll end up feeling totally groggy and exhausted.
When you’re napping, you should always keep your REM cycle in mind and try to plan your nap in roughly 30-minute segments. Your REM cycle — aka the deepest phase in your overall sleep cycle — can last for anywhere from 90 to 110 minutes before starting all over again, and it’s made up of five stages, the last of which are the absolute deepest.
The one thing you absolutely don’t want is to wake up from your nap during a deep-sleep stage, because you’ll end up feeling totally groggy and exhausted, which is probably not your intention. Ideally, a midday nap should only enter the light stages of your REM cycle, and you should wake up before you go any further.
This is where the magic of a “power nap” comes in, which is a nap that only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes, and has been scientifically proven to increase alertness and cognitive performance immediately after waking up. A power nap is a great option for people who don’t have multiple hours to devote to relaxation in the afternoon, and you can even pull off a power nap in pretty subtle places, like a seat on a commuter train.
But there’s something you need to be careful about when planning your nap time, especially if it’s in a short time-frame: how long it actually takes you to fall asleep in the first place, which is different for everyone. Think about it — you don’t want to spend more time trying to fall asleep than actually beingasleep, as that would probably stress you out more, and obviously defeat the whole purpose of the nap. Read more here