Many people take naps on the weekends안전놀이터. This is mostly to make up for the lack of sleep during the week or to relieve fatigue. But a nap is a nap. A proper nap is like a fatigue remedy that can quickly relieve accumulated fatigue. In fact, studies have shown that napping once or twice a week reduces the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and myocardial infarction. However, too much and too long of a nap during the day can lead to insomnia and even increase the risk of diabetes and dementia. Here are four tips to make sure you get the most out of your naps.

Tip 1. Keep naps to a maximum of 30 minutes
To get the most out of your naps, you should limit them to 20 to 30 minutes. The stages of sleep are divided into stages 1-4, and understanding the characteristics of each stage will help you understand why you should limit your naps to 30 minutes or less.

Stage 1 sleep is very light sleep, lasting only one to five minutes. It’s the drowsy state you feel with your eyes closed when you’re tired. You’re on the subway or sitting down after lunch and you can hear your surroundings, but your body is groggy. This stage is about 5% of your total sleep and acts as a “switch” into the more advanced stages of sleep.

Stage 2 sleep comes next, and it’s where you fall into “real sleep,” but it’s also light sleep. It lasts between 10 and 25 minutes, and you can be easily awakened by small stimuli or sounds. Stages 1 and 2 sleep lasts up to 30 minutes.

After Stage 2 sleep, you enter Stage 3 sleep. This is the stage of deep sleep where the brain is inhibited and cannot be easily awakened by external stimuli. If you force yourself to wake up, you’ll be sleepy and dreamy. Stage 3 sleep lasts between 20 and 40 minutes. If you fall into this stage when you take a nap and are forced to wake up, your brain is inhibited and your body is depleted of energy, making it difficult for you to function properly at work.

Adenosine, a substance that causes fatigue, is lost when we sleep deeply. Professor Shin Won-cheol of the Department of Neurology at Kangdong Kyung Hee University Hospital (Vice President of the Korean Sleep Research Society) warns, “If you sleep deeply during the day and then try to go to sleep at night, it is difficult to fall asleep because you are not tired, and even if you fall asleep, you wake up quickly.” “If you repeat this situation for two to three days, your circadian rhythm will be pushed back, and your body will recognise you as a ‘late sleeper’ and you will be prone to insomnia because you will not be able to sleep even at your usual bedtime,” he says.

Therefore, short naps of 20 to 30 minutes are recommended to recover from fatigue quickly and to avoid affecting nighttime sleep (REM sleep) and circadian rhythms, which are stages 1 and 2 sleep stages without falling into deep sleep.
Tip 2. Avoid 8 hours before bedtime at night
Taking a nap in the late afternoon is a surefire way to stay up late and feel tired the next morning, and it also prevents your body from releasing beneficial hormones like growth hormone at night. Naps should be taken no later than eight hours after your nighttime sleep. If you normally sleep at 11pm, you should avoid napping after 3pm. “If possible, it’s best to take a nap in the morning or after lunch for about 30 minutes, rather than in the afternoon,” Shin said.

An image of a sloth character created by the public relations committee of the Korean Society of Sleep Research to promote the importance of good sleep in celebration of World Sleep Day last year.
Tip 3. Keep the lights dim and the sounds quiet
When taking a nap, you should dim the lights and make sure your surroundings are quiet. If you work in a bright office, wear an eye patch to block out the light and earplugs to block out the noise. If you’re still having trouble falling asleep, you can try white noise. White noise is similar to the sound a foetus makes when it strokes its mother’s belly, and has been shown to be soothing and helpful for concentration. The advantage of white noise is that it’s a constant frequency, so it doesn’t get on your nerves. White noise, especially in the form of waves or valley sounds, can trigger alpha waves in the brain, which help to create a sense of calm and promote sleep.
Tip 4. Set an alarm or drink coffee right before your nap
It’s not uncommon to take a nap on an extremely tired day and not wake up willingly. If you’ve had little sleep the night before, you can fall into the deeper stages of sleep after stage 3 in less than 20 minutes, which can lead to an excessively long nap. Therefore, it’s a safe bet to set an alarm for 20-30 minutes after you plan to take a nap.

If you drink coffee right before your nap, you can easily wake up 30 minutes later. This is called a “caffeine nap”. Caffeine naps maximise the benefits of caffeine and naps by taking advantage of the time it takes for the wakefulness of caffeine to reach the brain. Caffeine begins to have a wakefulness effect on the brain after 30 minutes and peaks around the one-hour mark, so if you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages right before your nap, you can easily wake up 30 minutes after your brain wakes up and feel more alert.

In fact, a study conducted by a university in the UK tested the effects of a caffeine nap on people who drive. One group was asked to take a short 15-minute nap immediately after drinking coffee, while the other group just drank coffee. The results showed that the group that took the nap immediately after drinking coffee was more focused and made fewer mistakes while driving. “The caffeine nap is a tip to double the wakefulness effect of naps and coffee,” says Professor Shin.

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