According to experts at Sleep.org, naps are best taken in the afternoon between the hours of 12:30pm and 2:00pm. Research shows that it’s during these hours that sleepiness is most likely to set in, often influenced in part by the fullness we feel after a big lunch. Additionally, our biology may be telling us it’s time for a rest. Our body’s natural circadian rhythm has us feeling most sleepy during two points of the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle — the first being in the middle of the night and the second occurring around midday (via Sleep).
While time of day is certainly important, the duration of one’s nap is equally as important to consider. The Sleep Foundation reveals that the most health benefits can be gained from naps that last no longer than ten minutes. While that may not sound like much, longer naps may have the potential to negatively impact our health. A 2019 study published by the American Academy of Neurology determined that habitual daytime nappers whose naps lasted for 90 minutes or more were 25% more at risk for stroke than those whose naps did not exceed 30 mins.
While napping can help us restore sleep that may have been lost during the course of the night, it may be best to keep those post-lunchtime naps short and sweet.