What’s the best time of day to nap?

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Napping is great when done right. Our bodies love sleep, but there are certain times of the day that we may hear the call to nap more strongly.

The exact best time to nap will depend largely on your sleep schedule and whether or not you have acquired a sleep debt.

Your average human being who wakes at 6.30am and has no sleep debt will feel heaviest or sleepiest between 1-3pm (just after lunch) and 2-4am (when not even your alarm can rouse you).

However, a human being who has delayed sleeping for work or social reasons may need to shift these times. To work out when your best time is for a nap check out Dr Sara Mednick's Nap wheel which promises 'The Ultimate Nap'.

nap wheel copy

The wheel helps to work out when REM sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS) overlap and therefore, when you would extract the most benefits from your nap.

Napping really is an art and requires practice so do not feel discouraged if initially you feel worse post nap than you did before (this is known as sleep inertia). You will soon figure out what time of the day suits you and what duration turns you into a super-hero.

Want to learn more about the art of napping? These are some of our previous, powerful nap blogs that could help you get there.

The Power Nap

Counter culture - enjoying rest

The Best kind of nap

Power nap vs complete sleep cycle

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