How long should your naps be? - Sara C. Mednick
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Say you wanted to get a shot of alertness and boost to your attention, that calls for Stage 2 sleep, so a nap of about 20 minutes should do the trick, and since stage 2 sleep doesn’t vary that much across the day, you can take that power nap at any time. But if you have engaged in a serious muscle-fatiguing workout, you will need the restorative powers of slow wave sleep, for that you will want an afternoon nap of 60min. Slow wave sleep is also good for memory, so get a 60 minute nap in between studying and taking that final.
Now, if you are working on solving a riddle, writing a song, or discovering a Nobel Prize worthy solution, you will need an early morning REM-rich nap. Watch the videos on this playlist to learn more.
Take a look here for an online Nap Wheel to help you program your perfect nap, also work your way through a short series of courses by Dr. Sara Mednick to help you understand more about the science of sleep, and figure out what type of nap is right for you. You can also visit Dr. Mednick's Sleep and Cognition lab to check out their scientific publications.
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