Health Check: are naps good for us?

Health Check: are naps good for us?

When to nap, how long to nap, one nap or two, what's best for us?

'Insufficient sleep not only affects our overall performance, but can affect some physiological functions such as changes to hormones, metabolic factors and immunity.


Naps may also offer longer lasting improvements in cognitive performance and reduced sleepiness than other commonly used countermeasures of sleepiness such as caffeine.


Sleep inertia is also characterised by a decrease in performance ranging from slowed reaction time to decreased coordination.


You might wake from your nap feeling groggy - for up to 60 minutes.'

Gemma Paech, Postdoctoral research fellow, Biological Rhythms Research Lab, Washington State University examines the pros and cons of napping:

While written for the general public, hopefully the above article will help you get more out of your naps - ideally without sleep inertia, which can easily wipe out my afternoon plans...


8 Replies

  • If I can nap a bit, I do. I mostly fall asleep earlier than I want to in my recliner. On days I have had a nap, I don't see much difference. I am having trouble fatigue that is deeper and more constant than in past.

    A nap doesn't get rid of that feeling. I do, however, find walking is more refreshing than napping. Trouble is getting myself up and out the door on a daily basis.

  • When I am at home, I love having a nap in the mid afternoon, and usually wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day. And this was way before CLL was on the horizon. Now, there are days when I wish I could find a quiet place to lie down for a while.

    Happy Nap Time,

    Sandy Beaches

  • Afternoon naps are lifesavers for me. Without a nap, I'm struggling all afternoon and am even worse in the evening. With a nap (I actually go to bed for it), I become refreshed and can function again in evenings - often till very late at night.

    When I accepted that I needed that afternoon sleep, I actually regained a lot of my life. It was a great relief.

    But it's a nuisance having to plan life around afternoon sleeps. It's not what I'd choose to do, and I usually (not always) feel very groggy for about an hour after waking. Anyone got any ideas on how to shorten that groggy hour after naps?

    I realise that daytime naps don't work for everyone, and some people do better going for walks instead. Sady that doesn't work for me. When I'm on a long mountain walk I often have to lie down on the hillside for half an hour at some point, before I have the energy to get myself down the hill again. Hubby is very patient at such times. In the summer he's been known to take postcards to write while I'm dozing on the grass/rocks.

    Happy sleeping,


  • You might want to try to limit your nap to 20 minutes - use a smart phone to set a timer - similar to a mediatation.

    I'll look for the links showing the sleep waves you delve into in 15, 20, 45 minutes. It's actually beneficial to stay at 20 minutes to avoid sleep grogginess upon awakening.

    The next point is 45 minutes. If you awaken in 30 you risk going too deep and not awakening refreshed. 45 minutes allows you to go deeply and rise naturally in your brain waves.

    I've been meditating twice a day for 40 plus years. It takes effort to awaken in the throes of an occasional fatigue jag from ibrutinib. The incentive is not being groggy for the next hour.


    Link - how to avoid sleep inertia.

    20 minutes is best.

  • Thanks for this info, db601. However, I can't always predict when I'll fall asleep after lying down. If I fall asleep straight away, then a timer set for 20 minutes would be fine. But it sometimes takes me 5 or 10 minutes to actually drop off, and then a timer set for 20 minutes will wake me up too soon. Experience has shown me that very short (eg 10 minute) sleeps don't refresh me or keep me going for the rest of the day.

    But I'll try and experiment with different methods for this, as I'm very motivated to avoid that groggy hour after waking (Sometimes the grogginess lasts even longer than an hour).

    Best wishes,


  • Perhaps their study should look at people suffering an illness like ours.

    What affects normal healthy people is not the same for us I think.


  • I have had CLL for three years. Up till recently I would take naps and fall asleep. For the last three months, I feel exhausted and try to take naps but am unable to fall asleep. I also have trouble getting to sleep at night as well. ANy others experience this?

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