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In the United States, we are all familiar with young children requiring afternoon naps and older adults occasionally falling asleep after a meal.  In recent years, napping for active adults has become more and more popular.  Many adults find themselves over-extended with the responsibilities of work and family life and feel sleep deprived.  A short nap can be a way to help feel revitalized and refreshed.
Many adults feel sleepy in the afternoon, about eight hours after awakening.  Researchers have found that a short nap can improve alertness and work performance.  Some employers even offer “nap lounges” as an alternative to a “coffee break.”  Naps may help adults that drive long distances or anticipate that they will be up longer than usual.  For many, napping for active adults may be a new concept, but research shows that it can be beneficial.

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Ideally, naps should be taken in a safe, quiet, comfortable, and dark place.  Short naps, between 15 and 30 minutes, are usually recommended for adults.  Young children may take regularly scheduled naps for longer periods. 

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Recent studies have shown a benefit to daytime napping, resulting in a lower risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.  Not only does napping appear to improve health, but also several studies have shown that a 30-minute nap can increase work productivity and efficacy. 

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit