Why You Should Stop Taking Long Naps and How to Do It

Why You Should Stop Taking Long Naps and How to Do It

Some people are really great nappers and can handle taking a short twenty-minute power nap every single day and function wonderfully. But people who have issues with getting to sleep at night, and staying asleep consistently, should eliminate taking naps to help fix this problem. 

    Take Only Short Naps – If you like to nap, it’s important to do it right. Only sleep for about 20 to 30 minutes each day, and don’t do it to try to make up for lack of sleep from the night before. Only continue taking short naps if you see an improvement in your ability to focus and be productive. 

    Only Nap if Necessary – If you had to get up in the night last night due to kids or illness, a short nap might energize you and help you get through the day. But if you did sleep enough the previous night, napping now may interfere with your sleep later. 

    Long Naps are a Sign of Poor Sleep – If you need long naps every day, something is wrong with your health or circadian rhythms. This is especially true if those long naps do not make you feel refreshed. So if you have trouble getting back into the swing of life after a nap, it’s better to avoid them and get a checkup.

    Naps Correlate with Illness – Most people in one study who needed daily naps were obese, had heart disease, diabetes, or other health issues. More research needs to be done to find out which leads to the other, but in the meantime, it’s clear that napping is a sign of a problem if it doesn’t refresh. 

Focus instead on going to bed around the same time nightly and getting up at the same time in the morning. If you do get tired during the day, adjust your nighttime schedule, diet, and exercise to help end the daytime slumps. For example, you may simply need a walk at 3 pm instead of a nap.

Avoiding long naps is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. This tip is part of our series on 10 Proven Tips to Avoid Insomnia and Sleep Better Every Night. For more on how your lifestyle choices impact sleep, read about Eating Right for Better Sleep.