Will Napping Lead to Insomnia?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2016
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Napping is one of many things that may lead to insomnia. However, many medical experts believe napping to be beneficial for human beings, under the right circumstances. Therefore, it is important to realize that not all napping causes a problem. It is excessive napping, as well as choosing the wrong times to take naps, that seems to contribute to insomnia.

Many individuals enjoy a good power nap, feeling refreshed and ready to take on tasks, even after as little as 10 minutes of sleeping. Taking long daytime naps, however, can throw off your natural sleep rhythms, making it difficult for you to get to sleep and remain that way for the rest of the night. Keeping your daytime naps to 30 minutes or less may help you to avoid insomnia. It is also wise to avoid napping close to the time you normally go to bed.

There is science behind the need to keep daytime naps so short. For most people, it takes about 45 to 90 minutes to begin the deep sleep stage. If you allow yourself to enter deep sleep during the day, your inner sleep clock may be thrown off, disturbing your night sleep and leading to insomnia. Furthermore, when you enter deep sleep while napping and have to wake without getting several hours of sleep, you may wake up feeling sluggish and unable to function properly.


If you are suffering from insomnia, it may be best to avoid napping altogether. This may seem a little harsh, as you may feel that adding any amount of sleep to your sleep bank must be beneficial. Unfortunately, however, napping while struggling with insomnia is likely to have the opposite effect, leaving you even more sleepless during normal sleep times. With even less regular sleep to look forward to, you may feel even more tired and worn out.

Some individuals find daytime napping leads to a complete switch in their sleeping patterns. They nap so much during the day that nighttime begins to feel like activity time. They are sleepy during the day and wide awake at night. To reverse this pattern, they have to give up on daytime napping and introduce enough activity to avoid drifting off during the day. After a time, most people are able to reverse the pattern, doing most of their sleeping at night once more.

For many who suffer from insomnia, giving up napping may not be enough to provide for a good night’s sleep. It is, however, a wise start. If you suffer from insomnia, and avoiding naps provides no relief, seek advice and help from your doctor.


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Post 1

A lot of cultures take a nap or a rest every day. It seems like only the cultures that are way too driven and stressed out don't do that. I think that businesses should provide time for people to take naps - they can work later but most of us need some sort of rest after lunch. I think that people would be much more productive. I never find that I sleep worse after I nap, but I am in a much better mood all day if I do take a nap!

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