The National Sleep Foundation explains that there are 3 different types of naps:
1. A planned nap (or ‘preparatory napping’) is when you anticipate that you might feel tired later on, so you deliberately plan a nap beforehand. This is a great way of tackling fatigue before it actually happens and can come in handy if you have a particularly long drive planned, or if you are going away on holiday and need to be awake at an unusual time to set off to the airport for example.
2. An emergency nap (sometimes referred to as a ‘power nap’) is when you find yourself unexpectedly feeling too tired to continue with whatever activity you are participating in at that very moment. These types of naps are often used by people experiencing fatigue and drowsiness while using heavy machinery, or by people who experience stress and want to feel revitalised refreshed – or suddenly find themselves craving a new burst of energy to continue with a project.
3. A habitual nap is when someone has a nap at roughly the same time every day. It is fairly common for young children and elderly people to have an afternoon nap as part of their routine, which can often become a very important and crucial aspect of their day. Some people come to depend on habitual naps to regulate their energy levels and to break up their day; others use them to ensure maximum productivity or even just to improve their general health and alertness.
Why daytime naps can be a good idea
Having a daytime nap, whether it is part of a regular occurrence or just a one-off, comes with numerous benefits. They can leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised, provide a noticeable increase in your productivity and performance, and of course result in you feeling happier and well rested.
It is widely thought that naps which are intended to improve short-term alertness should last for no longer than 20-30 minutes. Any longer than this might negatively impact your sleep pattern, unless you can make them a permanent fixture as part of your regular routine.
Feeling restored and refreshed in the morning is vital to your overall health and wellbeing. Daytime or afternoon naps can be an excellent way to achieve this, all without leaving you feeling drowsy or disrupting your night time sleep later on.
Source: The National Sleep Foundation