The Importance of Napping!


An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                    Volume 17, Number 3

This month’s letter is about the very beneficial effects of napping. In fact, there has been a lot of new interest in napping primarily for two reasons. A lot of people perceive that they are not getting enough sleep. Either they are trying to do too much, are worried too much, or don’t know how to let go and relax. Another reason is that people view napping as performance enhancing and will take power naps to boost their work output.

Taking a brief nap during the day can restore your energy, increase your alertness, improve your mood, and enhance your overall health. But there are certain drawbacks. Taking a nap for more than 20-30 minutes can result in grogginess and interference with nigh time sleeping.

Our March e-Letter is entitled The Importance of Napping. Dr. Kimmel’s blog is about Achievement and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the positive and compassionate comments we have received.


                                      Showing a power nap

Napping has become very fashionable these days. Whether it is due to working from home or the incredible amount of stress in our society, there is much more media coverage and research about the benefits of taking a nap.

Some companies even offer at-work Nap Pods so that their employees can take a break, recharge, and improve their performance. Many airports also have sleep rooms that you can rent by the hour between flights.

There is also substantial research that shows taking a short nap can provide significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits. These include relieving fatigue, reducing stress, and enhancing cognitive performance.

People who regularly get enough sleep as well as those who are sleep deprived can benefit from a 15-minute nap to ward off fatigue. Napping can also improve physical performance by increasing energy and stamina.

People who do not get enough sleep often have impaired cognitive skills including decision-making, learning, paying attention, and memory. Naps can lessen these effects by “recharging” brain activity and improving focusing ability.

Napping can also have drawbacks. Sleep inertia is a term used to describe waking up from a nap feeling tired and groggy. This happens when a person sleeps too long and enters the stage of deep sleep. In addition, napping too long can reduce the need for sleep at night.

Most people take naps to relieve sleepiness, improve alertness, and reduce stress. Studies suggest napping for 10 to 30 minutes can be very beneficial.

Some people can fall asleep rather quickly while others may take some time to settle in. Conditioning oneself to a pattern allows for rapid napping.

Suggestions for developing a good napping pattern include:
1. Take naps at least eight or more hours before bedtime
2. If possible, find a good environment that is quiet, dark, and comfortable
3. If needed, use earplugs or dark glasses to reduce disruptions
4. Set an alarm for how long you want to nap and get up as soon as it sounds
5. Keep naps short; from 10-20 minutes is a good length
6. When finished napping, give yourself time to get completely awake
7. Be patient when developing the napping pattern as it can take time

We offer the following information:

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap…Carrie Snow


  • Naps are short periods of sleep that occur outside the usual nighttime period
  • In the US, one-third of adults and 73% of high school students fall short on sleep leading to an increase in arguments, accidents, and health problems.
  • A recent study found that 34% of all US adults nap during the day; older people have a greater frequency of napping
  • There is a lot of evidence that shows taking a nap can provide many physical and mental health benefits
  • Napping can be:
  • restorative
  • provide relaxation
  • reduce fatigue
  • improve mood
  • improve reaction time
  • enhance memory
  • improve physical performance
  • improve nighttime sleep
  • improve overall health by reducing stress on the heart
  • Drawbacks to napping include feeling disoriented, more tired upon awakening, or interference with nighttime sleeping
  • Taking a nap for longer than 20-30 minutes may result in grogginess and decreased performance
  • The best time of day to nap varies but it is usually after lunch as energy and cognitive abilities tend to drop
  • Consider napping if you don’t have a good night’s sleep, are stressed, do not feel clear-headed, are physically active, or are a shift worker
  • Naps at work are defined as power naps and often improve work performance
  • Power naps of 10 to 20 minutes are ideal; they can provide significant benefits depending upon how tired the person is before napping
  • Some people are unable to nap as they cannot get comfortable unless they are in their own bed or they just can’t sleep during the day


  • Allow yourself up to one-half hour to nap, usually after lunch
  • Set an alarm before napping and be sure to get up when it goes off
  • Find a comfortable location with few distractions and a good room temperature
  • Prevent interruptions and give yourself mental permission to relax
  • Consider using earplugs or an eye mask to aid in napping
  • Recognize that a nap does not replace sleeplessness but is a time to recharge
  • Seek professional help if you have difficulty sleeping, feel excessively tired and are unable to nap

                        WE PRACTICE TELEHEALTH AND CAN HELP!

Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]
        Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
        5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
        Coral Springs FL 33067

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email your comments to [email protected] and we will publish them next month.

Till April 2023…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to [email protected] requesting to be removed from this list.
If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends.
Copyright © 2023 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.