This Is What Your Napping Habit Is Actually Doing To Your Brain And Body

This is the justification you need for your next nap.

We are a nation of nappers. Dads ‘resting their eyes’ in front of the TV, commuters getting a quick 30 minutes in while heading home from work and young children needing to recharge their batteries. If there’s one thing we’re going to do, it’s sleep it off.

In fact, according to, one in five of us have a nap lasting between 20-30 minutes every single day. Guilty.

But, is it good for us? Should we be saving that sleep for our actual bedtime?

Well, if you keep your naps short, yes, they are actually good for you.

The benefits of napping

I often fall victim to the “just ten extra minutes” mentality when waking, even if it’s after a short nap but according to Dr. Michael Gradner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, “A power nap, between 15 and 45 minutes, can improve memory and reduce fatigue for the rest of the day.”

He added that if you’re otherwise well-rested, that kind of nap can “actually boost performance pretty well.”

To some businesses, this isn’t brand new information. In fact, Google has sleep pods in some of their offices. These are high-tech beds which include built-in sound systems for those who need relaxing music to help them nod off.

Additionally, a 2019 study in the British medical journal Heart found that those who nap once or twice a week were 48% less likely to have a cardiovascular event than those who didn’t.

However, Gradner urges people to stay wary of why they’re napping. “If you’re napping because it helps you get through the day, that’s probably a good thing,” Grandner said.

“But if you’re napping because you just can’t stay awake, that’s a sign that there’s some underlying health issue. You’re either not getting enough sleep at night or your sleep quality could be very poor,” he added.

He explained that one way to know if you’ve napped for too long is if you feel groggy afterwards.

So, have the naps you need to have but make sure you don’t sleep for too long.

Got it.