The Perfect Nap Revealed

Sleep is precious and sometimes catching up on some kip by having a nap is more than necessary, but how long is the perfect nap and where is best to nap - on the sofa or in bed?

We did a poll to discover the nation’s napping habits, with some of the results shown here:

On average, Brits nap three times a week, although a fifth (21%) say they never nod off during the day. Men said they were twice as likely as women to be big nappers, with one in eight (13%) having a daytime snooze at least once every day, compared to only one in 16 women (6%). The average length of a daytime doze is 35 minutes, just over the recommended length.

When it comes to the ideal snooze, most prefer sneaking back into bed (53%), but two in five (40%) would rather fall asleep on the sofa. Oddly, 1% love catching a few winks when travelling on public transport!

We spoke to Lisa Artis, an adviser from The Sleep Council, to discover how long the perfect nap is to make sure you’re not left feeling groggy. Here are her top tips for how to get yourself off to sleep.

1. Aim to only sleep for 20-30 minutes, which is sufficient to turn off the nervous system and recharge the whole body and improve alertness

2. Use an eye mask and earplugs to block out light and noise that can stop us sleeping

3. Napping is best after lunch between 1pm and 3pm. Don't nap too late in the day (post 4pm) as it can affect your night-time sleep

4. Make sure you’re in a comfortable and restful place

5. If you’re feeling tired, but can’t get to sleep, use the time to relax instead, which can be just as restful

The average length of a daytime doze for British people is 35 minutes, just over Lisa’s recommended length, perhaps explaining why one in five of us (18%) feel dazed and groggy when we wake up.

Lisa added: “Napping is not generally encouraged as it can affect night-time sleep. If you regularly experience insomnia or poor sleep at night, napping can make this worse. However, if you haven’t slept well, or are feeling fatigued, a short kip can give you as much energy as two cups of strong coffee, but with longer lasting effects.”

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