How Long is a Nap? [Poll]
To look at the massive circles underneath my eyes, you would think I know nothing of naps. While it's true I haven't enjoyed the mini-vacation that is the mid-afternoon snack of sleep, that wasn't always the case. The was a time, my friend, when I knew the land of daytime dreams like the back of my hand. Of course, this was before I had 2 kids (the youngest is 6 months and hates it when I sleep).
The nap is now under attack, or at least the common understanding of the nap is. A new twitter war has erupted on the subject, and the fracas boils down to this issue: At what point does a nap become regular sleep? The science on this doesn't really provide a very precise answer.
The best our brightest can come up with is, it depends. If you are looking for a boost or a recharge, a 10 to 20 minute nap should suffice. If you are studying, you need to hit the hay for a solid hour. Research shows that this kind of nap is best for boosting memory performance, but could make you groggy. If you are learning something new, doing something creative, or need to emotionally recharge - a 90 minute nap is the best bet for you. The last one will also get you through a full sleep cycle, so it's the least likely to leave you groggy.
I think we can all agree that anything longer than 2 hours isn't a nap - you just went to bed early.