If you're sleep deprived or just looking for a way to relax, you might be thinking about taking a nap. Napping at the wrong time of day or for too long can backfire, though.
Napping isn't for everyone. Some people simply can't sleep during the day or have trouble sleeping in places other than their own beds, which napping sometimes requires.
Napping can also have negative effects, such as:
- Sleep inertia. You might feel groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.
- Nighttime sleep problems. Short naps generally don't affect nighttime sleep quality for most people. But if you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might worsen these problems. Long or frequent naps might interfere with nighttime sleep.
You might consider making time for a nap if you:
- Experience new fatigue or unexpected sleepiness
- Are about to experience sleep loss — for example, due to a long work shift
- Want to make planned naps part of your daily routine