Posted on by Amber Merton

woman napping on the couch

National Napping Day is an unofficial holiday that should be a national holiday celebrated by one and all. If you haven’t had a decent nap in a long time, now is your perfect opportunity. Sleep Advisor promotes this unofficial holiday as a time to remind American adults that eight hours of sleep is the rule of thumb to go by, and should not be the rare exception.

National Napping Day 2020 occurs on March 9, the day after Daylight Saving Time.

Even getting as little as 20 or 30 minutes of sleep in a nap can leave you waking refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle your enormous “to do” list. It may even help you sleep better at night because you’re able to accomplish more during the day. Here’s what you need to know about napping and National Napping Day.

Do Naps Matter All That Much?

Throughout history, naps have been used to help people power through their days, and for a variety of other purposes. For instance, siestas are still the rule rather than exceptions in parts of the world where temperatures are exceptionally high during certain parts of the day. People are able to sleep through the hottest hours, allowing them to stay up later, and get more accomplished during cooler hours of the night, and wake earlier to take advantage of the cooler morning hours, too.

Even today, some shops and businesses in Spain close between 2:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon for siesta time, and restaurants and bars close between 4:00 and 8:00 for siesta time before serving the dinnertime rush, though the practice has declined significantly in recent years.

During World War II, Winston Churchill napped religiously for at least one hour every afternoon to help him power through the late nights of work he had ahead of him as he worked to defeat the enemy. Not everyone needs a full hour to recharge, so they can power through the day. Mind you, not everyone is trying to save a nation from defeat at the hands of enemy forces.

Other famous nappers include:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Thomas Edison
  • Katy Perry
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Bill Clinton
  • Heidi Klum

Napping may not be the ultimate secret for success, but there’s no denying that many successful people do it.

How Long Should a Good Nap Last?

Before you don your PJs, crawl into your comfortable PlushBeds natural latex mattress, and head off for a trip to afternoon dreamland, you need to decide how long you plan to sleep. Nap too long, and it could ruin your sleep for the night. Nap too little, and it could leave you with a nasty case of crankiness. These are some considerations for nap lengths.

One of the best naps, often called a “power nap,” is a 20-minute nap. This nap allows you to enjoy the restful restorative benefits of a nap, without waking up groggy and disoriented. It’s like a shot of espresso without the caffeine jitters.

Increasing your naptime by 15 minutes for a total of 35, however, could result in a groggy and somewhat grumpy awakening that negates all the potential good a quick nap could do. It’s better to stick to 20 minutes, or go ahead and go for the full 60-75 minute nap instead of a nap period in between the two.

A 60-75 minute nap can allow you to enter into the ever restful REM sleep. It is ideal if you can manage it, for many people, and lessens the risk of waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle, and experiencing the disorientation that can cause.

Perhaps the most desirable naptime is a 90-minute nap. This nap allows you to enter your deepest sleep, so you can enjoy restorative rest while waking up at the lightest possible part of your sleep cycle. Certainly, worth slipping into your PJs for this one!

Now, how will you nap on National Napping Day? Will it be short and sweet, or are you going for the full 90 minutes?

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