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National Napping Day Monday Might Help You Adjust to Daylight Saving Time, How Long's The Ideal Nap?

The Monday following the start of Daylight Saving Time can leave everyone feeling a little sluggish. The loss of a full hour of sleep can be disorienting and causes people to feel a bit more groggy than they might normally, that’s why the day was made National Napping Day.

“We chose this particular Monday because Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ than usual after losing an hour of sleep to daylight savings time,” William Anthony said, according to Boston University. The day was created in 1999 by a professor at Boston University, William Anthony, and his wife Camille Anthony, who wanted to raise awareness around the benefits of napping. Sometimes the act of napping can be viewed negatively or seen as something lazy people do during the day, but it can actually help improve productiveness and awareness.

napping outside A man naps with his dog under blooming cherry trees April 9, 2014, near the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

There are several types of naps, planned naps, emergency naps and habitual naps, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Those various naps can help drowsy individuals get a quick pick-me up mid day. “ While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance,” according to the NSF.

Planned naps are those taken before the napper feels like they actually need one, emergency naps are those taken when the feeling of tiredness is overwhelming and habitual naps are those taken daily around the same time, according to the NSF.

But napping comes with its risks, not only can people end up laying down to nap and not be able to fall asleep, others can wake up more groggy than they were before they rested, this is called “sleep inertia.” Naps later in the day can also negatively impact some peoples ability to fall asleep at night around bedtime, according to the NSF.

There are some differences in opinion when it comes to how long the ideal nap is, but in general, the science says the shorter the better. Once napper starts hitting the 30 minute mark, they’re more likely to have sleep inertia because they’ll likely reach their deeper sleep stages. The ideal nap is about 20 minutes long, according to Sleep.org. A nap that short can result in all the benefits of a nap like increased alertness and a better mood.

The Anthonys broke down the benefits of napping to improved mood and performance, no cost, no sweat, the ease of it being self prescribed, that it’s non-fattening non-invasive and has no dangerous or risky side effects (barring driving.)

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