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Naps can be a great boost for those feeling sleepy mid-day! Just 20-30 minutes can wake you up and boost productivity. It can even lower your risk of heart disease (afternoon napping 3x weekly!) and save employers $18 billion per year in lost productivity costs.
Your midday drowsiness is caused by the hypothalamus, which runs your body clock.
Think napping is for wusses? LBJ and JFK were both avid nappers! And FYI, the best time to nap is between 1:00 and 3:00.
A 20 minute nap can wake you up and improve motor skills. Half an hour to an hour improves memory, creativity and decision-making. Over an hour, however, and you enter REM sleep, which increases the chances of feeling groggy upon waking.
In the perfect half-hour nap, your senses are still active during the first five minutes. Between five and 25 minutes, you fall into deeper sleep, bolstering your immune system and stockpiling cortisol to make you alert when you wake. In the last five minutes, very tired nappers could enter REM sleep — in this case, a nap might not be very beneficial, even on your favorite mattress (http://www.tempurpedic.ca/Mattresses/Mattresses.asp).
To get the most out of your naps, nap regularly, keep the room dark or wear an eye mask, stay warm, and sleep for just 30 minutes.1