For many holidaymakers, napping is an essential ritual during the summer. You can finally enjoy the late evenings in the cool and recover in the middle of the day, without feeling too guilty. Here are some tips to make the most of this benevolent moment, without coming out all groggy…
The nap allows you to make up for a little lack of sleep, to get distressed, to digest better after the meal… And is even reputed to be excellent for memory and imagination. Every summer, it’s a must-see time for many holidaymakers!
But be careful not to sleep too much, so as not to get knocked out all day or to shift completely. Holidays are also made to enjoy your travels, time with family or friends. And to make a successful nap, it’s all about timing.
Ideal time: less than 30 minutes
Waking up after a nap can really rot a holiday end. And it is often due to a simple timing error. Sophrologist Christel Neumager, a sleep specialist at the St. Lawrence Polyclinic in Rennes, recommends “a short nap of less than 30 minutes.” On holiday, 10 or 20 minutes a day is more than enough to stimulate energy, take a break between activities and recover a small debt of sleep.
This duration allows you to enjoy all the benefits of slow sleep, without any adverse effects on morale. For an awakening in the heart of REM sleep is a muddy awakening and a softened end of the day assured!
The myth of the full cycle
To escape the “kicking” effect, some people consider a sum of one and a half hours, because it is the duration of a complete sleep cycle… If we finish the whole cycle, we’d wake up fresh! But here it is: if a 90-minute nap allows a less difficult awakening, it is also a “physiologically bad” sleep time in the middle of the day, warns specialist Christel Neumager. “By sleeping too much, we’re going to encroach on the night ahead,” says the sophrologist.
The ideal nap time? Less than 30 minutes.
And indeed, the key to effective and restorative sleep, even during the holidays, is “a steady rhythm, rather than constant changes,” continues the sophrologist. By taking long naps, especially at non-regular hours, you may end up completely offbeat at the end of the holidays: inability to fall asleep at night and chaotic recovery “to the little luck” in broad daylight. And we mostly return to a pace of work with a big slap of fatigue. It is therefore better to give in to a long nap only if you have a period of rehabilitation to a more regular sleep. For a vacation of several weeks, so.
Can’t we give in to all his lazy urges, even on vacation? “On holiday you can rest: that’s what it’s for,” adds the specialist. It can take several recovery times during the day. Relax by reading a book, or drinking a cocktail by the pool, “ lazing around, then. “The ideal,” she continues, “is really a short nap of 20 minutes or less.” We’re reassured!
The perfect time, a tailor-made choice
If the best time for a little restorative rest seems to be in the afternoon, it remains to be seen when it will be best. Dr. Sara Mednick, a California physician who is also a sleep specialist, has developed her own tool to find the most balanced nap time, depending on the time of sunrise. We’ve tested it for you… For the big early risers of the holidays, who wake up at 7 a.m. or before, a little bit of sleep will be ideal around 2 p.m. Wake-up callers at 8 a.m. will find their dream nap at 2:20 p.m., and those who emerge in the morning at 9 a.m. will prefer to pay for it around 3 p.m. Finally, for real late risers, who don’t open their eyes until 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m., the perfect nap schedule will be around 3:50 p.m. And beyond that… Watch out for the lag!
Article from “The Evening Edition” magazine