DrLullaby's founder, Lisa Medalie, PsyD, DBSM contributes to this Chicago Tribune article, explaining why deep sleep is more important than napping and how to nap in a way that won't affect your nighttime sleep.
“First and foremost, try and get more sleep at night,” said Lisa Medalie, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist at University of Chicago Medicine. “If there’s no way you can fit in more sleep at night because of your busy schedule — and as long as you don’t have insomnia — taking brief nap before 2 p.m. can help you get through the rest of your day.”
A nap should be 20 to 30 minutes, she said, recommending napping before 2 p.m. so it won’t interfere with nighttime sleep.
Excessive daytime sleepiness — which often peaks after lunch — can make people vulnerable to problems with cognitive functions such as concentration, and speed and response time, in addition to affecting mood and appetite, Medalie said.
But a nap is a Band-Aid approach to getting enough rest for your body, said Medalie, who added that getting more consecutive hours of nighttime sleep is better than an afternoon nap.