Whether you’ve just got home from a long day at work or you’re enjoying a relaxing day off, it’s always a good time for a nap!
However, as seasoned nappers will know, the timing of your nap can be crucial – too short and you don’t feel rested, too long and the nap can leave you feeling groggy and unsettled. If you’re just not sure whether you’re napping properly, we’ve put together this little guide on how to live your best nap life, whatever your age.
As you’ll probably know, our regular sleep pattern is made up of two different types of sleep: Non-REM, where our bodies and brains relax and our heart rate and temperature decrease, and REM, the deep sleep in which we experience dreams. The key to a good nap as an adult is to experience the relaxing state of Non-REM sleep without entering into REM, as waking up from this deeper sleep is what leaves you feeling muddled and faint. Since REM sleep happens about 30 minutes after you fall asleep, the perfect nap time is between 10 and 20 minutes – anything less than 10 won’t leave you feeling rested enough.
While it might seem like your teenager sleeps a lot, studies have actually shown that many teenagers aren’t getting enough sleep at all. Homework overload, exam stress, or hormonal changes can leave teenagers struggling to get to sleep at night and tired in the morning. Sleep experts have said that a quick 20 minute nap after school could go a long way towards helping with this sleep deprivation – just make sure that their nap doesn’t run too close to their usual bedtime, as this can also prevent them from sleeping properly at night.
Toddlers and Children
It’s important to remember that what’s considered ‘normal’ for another child might not be ‘normal’ for yours. Some children might function perfectly on just their nighttime sleep and some might benefit from daily naps well beyond toddlerhood. That being said, toddlers aged one to five generally need around 12 hours sleep with a one to three hour afternoon nap every day. Children will usually start to wean off their afternoon nap from about five upwards. If your little one seems overtired, try an earlier bedtime or make sure that their bed is suitable for a growing child.
As new parents know, the life of a baby is one long nap! A newborn baby sleeps for around 16 hours a day, split between a long (hopefully!) nighttime sleep and around three long naps throughout the day. As they reach around nine months, these naps will shorten down to two a day as they start to sleep longer throughout the night.
We hope you’ve found our nap guide helpful! If you are worried that your children’s beds might be affecting their quality of sleep, contact us today to get expert advice on an age-appropriate bed for your little one and how we can help you make sure they’re getting all the rest they need.