Parents benefit from napping, too. Here’s the best way to get your 40 winks

Adults should aim to keep naps to 30 minutes or less for optimal benefits. (Photo: BraunS, Getty Images)

Napping is not just for babies.

Healthy adults can benefit from a quick 40 winks, too. Like our younger counterparts (aka our kids), adults see benefits such as increased alertness, improved mood, reduced fatigue, better performance and greater relaxation.

But there are some things to consider to get the most out of a nap. Poor napping habits include napping at the wrong time of day (too close to bed time) or for too long.

To make your nap time better, consider these tips:

Believe it or not, not everyone is suited for a nap. Napping too much or too long can cause nighttime sleep issues if someone is prone to restless sleep. Prolonged napping can also cause sleep inertia — that feeling of being groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.

Of course getting an adequate amount of sleep at night is the best way to recharge, reenergize and stay on a healthy track. If you’re not getting enough sleep or notice changes in your sleep patterns, please talk with your doctor.

Lois Krahn, M.D. is a psychiatrist and a sleep specialist at Mayo Clinic Arizona.

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