Photography, Zhang Kaiyv, Unsplash.com
Whether you’re a parent, a student, or if your job demands night hours, we’ve all had to deal with the aftermath of pulling an all-nighter (regrets!).
You can chug five cups of coffee and go for a walk outside, but nothing can truly replace a good night’s rest. Or can it?
Researchers from the University of Hiroshima in Japan studied the best sleeping strategy after a sleepless night. According to the results, the best way to feel refreshed (or to simply get through the day) after a night of no shut-eye is to take two separate naps at specific intervals throughout the day.
The study was led on a group of 41 women, all of which worked a 16-hour simulated night shift (4 p.m. to 9 a.m.). They were then separated into three groups: no nap, one-nap (of 120 minutes) and two-nap (one 90 minutes and one 30-minute nap). The participants were then tested every two hours on their levels of alertness and drowsiness.
The study found that two naps “improve[d] drowsiness and fatigue during a long night shift.”
Sanae Oriyama, head researcher, also studied the relationship between naps and the specific times at which they are taken. The results suggest that “the effects of naps are influenced by the time the nap is taken, and that the later the timing of taking a nap, the more effective it is in relieving morning drowsiness and fatigue.”
This is the best time to take a nap
A 90-minute nap taken before midnight “minimized sleep inertia” and maintained levels of wakefulness for longer. An additional 30-minute nap, taken before 3 a.m. “improved objective and subjective alertness, in addition to improvements in fatigue and vigilance.” On the other hand, 60-minute naps were associated with residual drowsiness, while 120-minute naps increased overall fatigue upon awakening.
So, if you are planning on staying up all night, experts recommend that you split your nap times to increase your levels of energy throughout the day. However, because sleep deprivation ruins your circadian cycle and can lead to serious health issues such as a high blood pressure and weakened immune system, make sure to get a proper amount of sleep each night—as much as your schedule allows!