ATLANTA — ATLANTA – The adjustment to Daylight Savings Time along with worry about COVID-19 has cost us sleep, but don’t get carried away when it comes to a daytime nap.
“Sleep depravation compromises your immune system and may make you more susceptible to illness in general,” Dr. Scott Leibowitz of Northside Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center said.
If a nap is the way you make up for all the tossing and turning at night you might be making matters worse. It depends on how long you nap.
Here’s why a quick power nap is the way to go.
By quick, experts mean twenty to thirty minutes. Dr. Scott Leibowitz said naps that are longer than a half-hour can impede on your sleep at night.
“If you sleep too much during the day you don’t have the same pressure or drive for sleep at night and therefore you’re not sleepy when it’s time to go to bed,” Leibowitz said.
Naps that are too long take you into something called “sleep inertia.”
“You get into a deeper sleep and it’s harder to wake up from that sleep,” Libowitz said. “You tend to wake up groggy and lethargic.”
Dr. Leibowitz says think of napping as a snack and not a meal. You need just enough to recharge.
Some people report that despite worries over the pandemic they’re sleeping better. Working from home has given them the freedom to fit their sleep into their natural circadian rhythm and maybe sleep a little later.