Generally, power naps should take place between 1 and 3 p.m., when there’s an increase of melatonin in the body. They should last between 20 and 30 minutes, with 20-minute naps being optimal. If an individual sleeps more than that amount of time, the body shifts into slow-wave sleep, or full-sleep mode. Studies link power nap benefits to the first two stages of non-REM sleep. However, if the individual sleeps past the 30 minutes and then wakes during the third sleep cycle, they lose these benefits. They may experience fatigue, disorientation, and grogginess -- symptoms of sleep inertia. By controlling the time spent napping, an individual ensures they get the benefits of a power nap.
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