Why You Might Wake Up Tired After Taking a Nap

Why You Might Wake Up Tired After Taking a Nap

3 minute read

Naps are one of the great pleasures in life. You can feel re-energized and ready to take on the rest of your day with a cat nap.  But if you do it the wrong way, you may wake up tired and feeling worse than you did before lying down in bed.


In this blog, we go over why you feel groggy after taking a nap, how long you should take a nap, and tips on how to improve your napping.


Why Do I Feel Groggy After Taking a Nap?

Whenever you wake up from a nap feeling groggy and disoriented, you’re experiencing sleep inertia. Why? You napped too long. After about 25 minutes of napping, your brain starts to enter slow-wave sleep — the stage before rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to Healthline, slow-wave sleep occurs when your muscles start to relax, your breathing rate and blood pressure lower, and delta brain waves begin to emerge. It’s also the hardest stage to wake up from. If you wake up abruptly from slow-wave sleep, you’ll experience sleep inertia because your brain wants to keep snoozing and finish a full sleep cycle.


A study published in the journal NueroImage explains why sleep inertia might be associated with reduced cognitive functioning. Researchers measured brain activity from 34 participants before and after a 45-minute nap. They discovered that there may be a correlation with increased delta brainwave activity. Also, they found out that there was reduced connectivity between brain networks when participants awoke from their naps.

how long should I nap

How Long Should I Nap?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the best nap length is between 10-20 minutes. Napping for about 20 minutes keeps you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it much easier to wake up without feeling groggy and disoriented. Of course, make sure to set an alarm so you don’t stay snuggled under your sheets for too long! Plus, a 20-minute snooze session allows you to reap all the benefits of napping, which include:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increased alertness
  • Relaxation
  • Improved mood
  • Quicker reaction time
  • Better memory

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Tips for Taking Better Naps

In addition to limiting your nap time, there are other ways to improve your nap game. Consider some of these tips to help you take naps without feeling groggy:


  • Take naps in the early afternoon: If you nap too late in the day, it can interfere with your nighttime slumber. A good cutoff for napping is 3 p.m. However, the cutoff time can be earlier or later depending on your sleep schedule, sleep debt, and age.
  • Block out the world: Distracting outside noises and sunlight peeking through the window can put a damper on your midday nap. Consider earplugs and SHEEX Original Performance Cooling Sleep Mask to get yourself in power nap mode!
  • Get up as soon as your alarm goes off: It’s incredibly tempting to hit the snooze button when you’re so comfortable lying in bed wrapped around your comforter. Put your phone or alarm across the room, so you’re forced to get out of bed.
  • Upgrade your bedding: Comfortable, breathable bedding like SHEEX Original Performance Sheet Set can make a big difference in the way you nap. Our cooling sheets provide enhanced breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, and advanced thermoregulation, ensuring a more restorative sleep.

Enjoy your snooze!

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