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Jude's avatar

Say, if you didn't get enough sleep, but, the next day you are unable to nap, does closing your eyes for 10 minutes or so help?

Asked by Jude (31993 points ) June 26th, 2011

You don’t fall into a deep sleep, but, you are on the verge (head nods).

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18 Answers

tedibear's avatar

I used to take 20 minute power naps in my office at lunch time. It really did help me. For me the keys were sitting very still, keeping my eyes closed and breathing deeply. I set a timer to make sure that I woke up though! I even did it a couple of times on drives between Cleveland and Columbus. It’s only a couple of hours, but often I hadn’t slept well at the hotel and I would get road-sleepies. I’d pull into a rest stop or busy gas station and clonk out for 15 or 20 minutes. I wouldn’t do it at night at a rest stop just for safety’s sake. But it definitely helped.

Lightlyseared's avatar

So… this used to be a problem for me back before the EU made it illegal for my boss to make me work 96 hour shifts (I am so not joking about this – turn up to work Friday mornig leave Monday evening – I mean really who the hell thought that was a good idea). What I used to do was drink a cup coffee and then imediately have a nap for 20 minutes. When youre doing this its important not to nap for too long because if you wake up when you’re in deep sleep you will feel even worse than before.

filmfann's avatar

If I get a 20 minute nap, I usually feel worse than before. I need, at least, a full hour of rest to feel like it did me some good.

zenvelo's avatar

I sometimes have to do that at work too. It keeps me from nodding off and on for the rest of the day. The other thing is to not eat too much, that can put you right back to being sleepy.

_zen_'s avatar

I doze off for minutes sometimes, and even manage to sneak in a dream. When that happens, it means I reached REM – which is the deep, nourishing necessary sleep.

Yes, 10 minutes can be refreshing, but according to the latest research – if you aren’t getting enough sleep – you can’t “make up for it” on the weekend.

Aster's avatar

Q: does closing your eyes for ten minutes help? I don’t think so; not for me.

gasman's avatar

I’d say the goal is to log some minutes of REM sleep. The latency (normally I think around 45 minutes after falling asleep) is shortened when you’re sleep-deprived. So if you can fall asleep and start dreaming in under 20 or 30 minutes, it might serve as an effective “power nap.” Getting awakened from REM, however, may leave you feeling worse. Prevention is always better: avoid staying up too late, treat chronic sleep apnea. do as I say, not as I do…

I’m not sure that 10 minutes of closing your eyes and relaxing – without actually falling asleep and losing consciousness – helps for sleep deprivation. It might improve your mood or your blood pressure, but drowsiness will probably linger.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you get to REM sleep then you need to see it through to the end. If you wake up in the middle ofREM sleep youll be worse than if you got no sleep at all.

whitenoise's avatar

It helps me…

dabbler's avatar

I’m always surprised but most of the time when I fall asleep at my desk it is for less than ten minutes. And it helps loads.
Sometimes I get to sleep for only several seconds because I’m typing repeated “j“s or something and they overflow some buffer and causes boops to emanate from the computer. That’s not as effective but it’s amusing.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I hope so. I’ve barely slept this weekend.

skfinkel's avatar

I call them power naps, and I love to take them—Usually 20 minutes—and no more. Very refreshing.

Nullo's avatar

Relaxing and sitting still for 15–20 minutes would let me be alert for a couple hours after a late-nighter. So did a tachycardia-inducing blend of espresso and an energy soda. Nothing helped the all-nighter except a few hours of actual sleep.

drdoombot's avatar

First of all, you cannot reach REM sleep in a matter of minutes; during the night, it takes about 2–3 hours of sleep before you reach the REM state. It’s highly unlikely you will get REM sleep during a daytime nap.

Second, you do not need to reach REM sleep in order to have a restful nap. The numbers are different for everyone, but the generally accepted number is 20 minutes. You might not feel like you’re sleeping, but you will be reenergized from sitting still with your eyes closed for 20 minutes. Be careful not to do it for too long, as you will feel worse.

I used to do this after work but before night classes and if I didn’t get my 20 minutes at the university library, I couldn’t focus during class. I didn’t know that what I was doing was “power-napping” but it certainly felt nice to know that science backed up what I had worked out for myself.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, any effect would be negligible.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

No…that happened to me today actually. I was up all night last night, I fell asleep too early today, for too short a time to get me through tomorrow so that I MIGHT just be able to get to sleep at a decent hour to recoup, and now Im going to be up all night again tonight. Which is why I didn’t go for my run, which is why I’m in a horrible mood now.

*Sigh. Sometimes sleeping and not sleeping runs my life and I hate it. Makes me mental.

sleepygal's avatar

@drdoombot actually you can reach REM in a matter of minutes, it is one of the diagnosing characteristics of narcolepsy. My narcolepsy was diagnosed after such findings during a sleep study. According to my MSLT (nap study) I reached REM sleep within an average of 4 minutes, the quickest being 2.5 minutes.

dabbler's avatar

Welcome aboard @sleepygal !
I was experience a mild version of narcolepsy years ago, but I did not show signs of REM when tested, just conked out easily.
These days more sleep, and a bit of coffee, steady my boat.

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