Many people with insomnia fail to recognize the impact of napping and dozing on nighttime sleep. It is tempting for people with insomnia, after a bad night’s sleep, to try to take advantage of opportunities to sleep when they can, even if it’s a mid-morning nap. The problem with napping is that when we nap for more than 25 or 30 minutes, we enter into slow wave sleep. This type of sleep will interfere with nighttime sleep because our bodies only need so much of it per day. So is the answer to nap for 20 minutes or less? Studies show it can improve functioning for the remainder of the day for healthy people. However, even short napping is typically not recommended for people with chronic insomnia. If you have poor sleep, and have questions about napping and insomnia, contact a CBT-I (cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia) provider near you.
What is dozing?
Dozing refers to periods of sleep, even light sleep, that happen unintentionally. It often happens when we are watching television or engaged in another passive seated activity. Dozing can be difficult for people with insomnia to prevent. But its potential to impede our nighttime sleep makes avoiding dozing an important part of good sleep hygiene.