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Light early-afternoon naps should make you fresh and alert

Sleep studies
Posted at 5:23 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 18:26:16-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Recent studies show snoozing through your alarm and sleeping too long can negatively affect your sleep We visited the Torr Sleep Center to find out more.

The average person needs around eight hours of sleep a night for their body to function at its best. But even those who get the full amount of sleep still may sometimes feel the need to sneak in a nap.

“When you take a nap and you wake up, you're going to be a little more refreshed, and because of that your alertness may go up,” said Raymond Aguilar, president of Torr Sleep Center and a respiratory therapist. “Studies have shown your alertness is good after a nap and you're going to go out and have a productive day."

Aguilar recommends taking your nap around 1 p.m., but anything after 3 p.m.will only interfere with your night sleep.

While brief 30 minute or even 15-minute naps can positively affect your cognitive functions, naps any longer can be a sign you're suffering from sleep inertia.

Napping longer than an hour increases your chances of falling into the deep stages of sleep, which your body does not need during the day.

Generally, if you're tired it's because your body is saying you're a little sleep deprived and it's trying to catch up on what it missed the night before.

Just like snoozing, your alarm puts you back into a stage of sleep that will only deprive you of energy for the day. And sleeping longer than thirty minutes puts you at that same risk.

"When you take a nap all you're doing is putting off the inevitable, which is you have to sleep,” Aguilar said.

And when your night-time sleep is compromised, you start to have issues with going to bed and waking up.