When it comes to getting a good night's rest, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. For most people, taking a short nap during the day will not interfere with their nighttime sleep. However, if you suffer from insomnia or poor quality sleep, napping could make these issues worse. Long or frequent naps can disrupt your nighttime sleep.
Experts agree that the relaxation that comes with bedtime and rest can improve your mood, even if you don't fall asleep. Sleep deprivation is often misdiagnosed and may not be the cause of the infamous afternoon slump. Taking a quick nap can be refreshing and restorative, especially if you're not feeling sleepy. But longer naps later in the day can have a negative effect on the quality and duration of your nighttime sleep.
It turns out that taking a nap during the day may be even more beneficial than increasing your sleep hours at night for some people. Those who practice two-phase sleep usually sleep for 5 to 6 hours at night and take a shorter nap or naps during the day. If you nap too close to bedtime, it can lead to insomnia or lack of sleep and start a cycle of sleep deprivation. On the other hand, some people are able to lead productive and healthy lives with just 5 hours of sleep per night and a short nap or naps during the day.
When asked if it was better to sleep an extra hour at night or take a nap during the day, Dr. Weiss said, “It depends on who needs the nap.” In addition to considering your natural circadian rhythm and sleep momentum, scheduling your naps correctly also requires an understanding of sleep architecture and the different components of your sleep cycle.It's important to remember that many of the coping mechanisms for dealing with lack of sleep may actually be causing lack of nighttime sleep or lower quality sleep. If you are living in poverty in a crowded city, there is little you can do about the amount of light and noise that surrounds you, and researchers who participated in the study simply couldn't control all the variables involved in achieving quality sleep.