How Long to Nap for the Biggest Brain Benefits
Download PDF
Taking a nap has brain boosting benefits such as improved memory, increased energy, and improved performance. But napping may be as much of an art as it is a science. Start planning your perfect nap with these tips.

Feeling sleepy? Try adding a nap to your daily routine. 


10 - 20 minutes

  • This powernap is ideal for a quick boost of alertness and energy.
  • This length usually limits you to the lighter stages of sleep, making it easier to get back to work in a pinch.
  • Try to avoid lengthening the powernap to 30 minutes as sleeping this long may cause grogginess upon waking. 
  • This nap is best performed in a slightly upright position to avoid falling into a deeper sleep.
  • If you find yourself dreaming during a powernap it probably means you are sleep deprived. 


60 minutes

  • This nap is best for improvement of cognitive memory processing such as remembering facts, faces, or names.
  • The downside is that it includes slow-wave sleep (the deepest kind) which may result in some grogginess after waking.


90 minutes

  • This nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory (ex: riding a bike).
  • Waking up after REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia (grogginess).


Note: Napping should be avoided by people with insomnia or sleep apnea. It is best performed 7-10 hours after waking and at least 6 hours before bedtime. 

You Might Also Like...

Do one thing today to improve your mental health!

Read this tip

The Power of Giving Back

Read this tip

Choosing Tricks over Treats

Read this tip