Here's how long you a power nap should REALLY last

Discover exactly how long you should be sleeping if you want to wake up refreshed, rather than drowsy

GoTravel eye mask
(Image credit: GoTravel)

Sleep is one of the most (if not the most) essential part of our health. Not only is it crucial for our physical health but it is just as important for our mental wellbeing. And as many of us know, the amount of sleep we get can also have a direct impact on our mood. 

This year, the stress and pressures of the coronavirus pandemic has meant more and more of us are struggling to get a good night's sleep – no matter how tired and drained we may feel. In fact, new research by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI found that 63% of Brits experienced less or worse sleep during the pandemic. 

So you've followed all the advice for how to sleep better at night and invested in the best mattress you can afford, but you're still struggling to get enough of that all-important shut eye? According to the experts, power naps are the answer. 

Now that many of us are working from home, afternoon naps have never been easier to take. But it isn’t as simple as just getting into bed and closing your eyes. In order to actually wake up feeling refreshed rather than drowsy, you have to get your timing right. 

Here are three types of power naps that’ll solve your sleeping woes, courtesy of Go Travel. All you have to do is pick the one for you… 

15-20 mins: The optimum power nap

Best for: Improving efficiency and accuracy

According to science, sleeping for 15-20 minutes keeps you in the lightest stage of sleep, making it easier to get up and go. This type of nap is perfect  for anyone looking for a quick energy boost and is especially great for those wanting to improve motor skills like typing, and can also help improve your efficiency and accuracy. 

30-60 mins: Slow wave sleep

Best for: Improving decision making and learning skills

Once you get past the 30 minute mark, your brain starts to transition into deep sleep. At this point, your short-term memory is converted to long-term memory, which makes it easier to retain new information. If you’re a student revising for exams or you’re currently learning a new skill, this should be your go-to nap method. This sleep duration is also known for boosting your decision making skills, so keep that in mind next time you find yourself having to call the shots. 

60-90 mins: Full REM sleep

Best for: Improving creativity and memory

Hitting the 90 minute mark means you’re officially experiencing a full REM cycle which means you’re now making new brain connections. Therefore, this type of nap is useful for solving creative problems as well as reinforcing memory. 

We know what you’re thinking - how will you possibly fall asleep in the middle of the day with broad daylight and the sound of noisy streets? Luckily, Go Travel’s new Shaped Eye Masks come with a pair of ear plugs that’ll solve that problem!

Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a lifestyle and pop culture writer, working across print and digital for various publications including both newspapers and magazines.