General Question

McBean's avatar

Why does it take so long to recover from a nap?

Asked by McBean (1703points) September 7th, 2008

I accidentally fell asleep this afternoon for about 1 hour. I’ve been in a sluggish fog ever since. For this reason, I try to NEVER nap. How can some people nap and others cannot?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I am groggy if I nap that long too. My perfect recharge nap is twenty minutes. I wake up perky after that. If I go longer, I need tea to revive me.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Isnt it something like after a half hour you start to enter REM sleep, so that is why your extra tired if you sleep longer than that? So if you take like an hour nap your cutting your body short on that so you feel groggy.

This never really applied to me though if i take a two hour nap, ill wake up feeling like its the next day sometimes.

JackAdams's avatar

The ones who can nap are called KITTENS.

McBean's avatar

I wish I’d have been aware enough to wake myself up. I try not to nap because of that phenomenon. I have a friend that can go take a 10-minute nap and wake up refreshed. I think I immediately enter REM and am down for the count (or – as was the case today – my son shakes me awake).

uberbatman, you are very lucky undeed. I feel like a zombie right now, but too “unsleepy” to go to bed!

JA: I’m clearly no kitten. :-(

Allie's avatar

I guess I’m just lucky. I can nap for hours and hours and wake up feeling fine. In fact I can get pretty grumpy if I have to go a few days without a nap.

JackAdams: I guess that means you can start referring to me as “kitten” :p

JackAdams's avatar

I have actually heard a relative of mine say, “I think I’ll take a little nap, before going to bed.”

Harp's avatar

An average sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and moves through several stages. The first 20–30 mins. of sleep are relatively light, and are non-REM. Then the cycle dives into “slow wave sleep”, which is also non-REM. This is when the brain produces the slower delta waves characteristic of deep sleep; it lasts about another 30 mins. Slow-wave sleep is followed by another period of lighter non-REM sleep, and finally the REM period, when dreaming occurs (REM sleep is actually fairly easy to wake from).

So, what you want to avoid is having to wake from the slow-wave portion of the cycle (which is not the same as REM). This is accomplished by either limiting the nap to 20 mins. or allowing the cycle to run through the full 90 minutes (or even a bit less, if you don’t mind interrupting your dreams).

El_Cadejo's avatar

ahhh very interesting Harp that would explain why my longer naps dont bother me, yet if i take a short nap im all screwed up. Thanks ^_^

waterbearer's avatar

Since I like to nap during lunch when I’m really exhausted, I set my alarm for 20 minutes. I forgot to set it one day and I slept for 45 mins. Not to mention being embarassed (my boss didn’t walk in, though), but I felt like crap. I read somewhere to drink a soda or cup of coffee and then start your nap. Within 20 minutes, the caffeine kicks in and wakes you up. Don’t know how “true” this is, but I’ve started doing that and it has worked for me.

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