The lunch was extensive and rich, the eyes close. Now sleep for an hour first. But does a nap at noon really help against what is known as an “afternoon low”?
Of course, there is no time for a proper nap in everyday work. On the other hand, many people enjoy it all the more on the weekend – and even more so in retirement. But sleep researcher Hans-Günter Wess advises against it.
“An afternoon nap longer than 30 minutes is not useful for adults,” he says. Because: “70 percent of the population sleeps tiredly.”
A Not Too Long Nap
It works like this: Anyone who sleeps longer than half an hour slides into what is known as REM or dream sleep – and is then listless and listless when you wake up again. “It takes a long time until you get going again,” says Wess.
In addition, napping at noon relieves sleep pressure. “In the evening it is harder to fall asleep,” says Wess. “But people with sleep disorders, in particular, need sleep pressure to calm down in the evening.”
Better To Stay Awake If You Have Trouble Sleeping
If you don’t have such problems, you can of course lie down for lunch. “There are a few people who can do this without any negative effects on their subsequent performance and falling asleep in the evening,” says Wees.
“But these are the ones who have no problems sleeping anyway.” He advises everyone else: It’s best to stay awake at lunchtime. And if it does have to be a nap, then no longer than 20 minutes and not after 3 p.m.
The rule is different only with children, explains the expert. Because they only learn when they start school to meet all their sleep needs at night and in one go. “Until then, the afternoon or afternoon nap is still very useful for them.”
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