There are many benefits to napping including, new research shows, fending off colds and improving cardiovascular health. Here's how to do it well.
  1. Pick a regular time: A daily schedule helps train your body to know when it's nap time, says W. Christopher Winter, a board certified sleep-medicine physician. He recommends late mornings or early afternoon to avid interfering with your night sleep.
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  2. Set your alarm for 20 to 25 minutes: That's enough time to help you wake up refreshed without falling into deeper statues of sleep-at which point you wake up groggy, thanks to a phenomenon called sleep inertia.
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  3. Avoid Stimuli: Turn off your phone and find the darkest, quietest place you can, since a bright, boisterous environment can keep you from falling asleep or wake you up midnap.
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  4. Sniff Lavender...no really: in one 2012 study, when men and women fell asleep to that scent, they slept better and woke up feeling more alert.
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