How to Take the Perfect Nap

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 4.
    Sniff really: in one 2012 study, when men and women fell asleep to that scent, they slept better and woke up feeling more alert.