Taking a nap has many benefits. This daytime sleep improves cognitive functions, including memory, responsiveness and concentration. It also helps regulate the cardiovascular system and combat stress. But how long should a nap last?
Taking a nap in the middle of the day “is very important,” confirms neurologist Marc Rey, president of the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV), specifying that there are two types of naps: the long nap and the short siesta.
The latter is used “to restore his awakening systems and his alertness”. It is particularly useful “when we have been concentrating for a long time. We cannot maintain the same responsiveness for several hours in a row, he emphasizes, so the body needs rest.
“between 10 and 20 minutes”
And as the name suggests, it must be of short duration, “between 10 and 20 minutes”. “It’s not about creating sleep. This type of nap is used to let go. When you wake up, you should feel better, more rested. And if that is not the case, “the nap should be shortened and not extended, contrary to what many people think”.
You can even doze off for just 5 minutes, adds the specialist, taking the example of the Spanish artist Salvador Dali, who fell asleep in his armchair with a spoon or fork in his hand and woke up the moment he dropped the utensil. , which fell onto a plate that had previously been placed on the floor.
But others need longer naps, the neurologist continues, as they “testify that you are sleep deprived”.
In this case, the subject, who for example got up very early in the morning, “goes to sleep to recover and go through a sleep cycle that can last around 1.30 am. This is what people do especially on weekends because they are chronically sleep deprived in during the week. And that’s not abnormal,” reassures Marc Rey.