A power nap can help reboot your day

Everyone can get behind the idea of a power nap – but the big question is if it is effective.

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital sleep medicine physician Dr. Luis Ortiz said they do indeed work, but they have to be done right. 

"First, make sure you have a quiet, dark area where you can take a nap without any interruption," he said. 

Make sure the timing is right. Ten to 20 minutes is considered the sweet spot. It doesn't take too much time out of your day, and a long nap can be disruptive. 

"That's why some people claim 'I don't take naps because I feel worse when I wake up'. That’s probably because they are in deep sleep when they are woken up," said Dr. Ortiz.

He said you shouldn't be discouraged if you don't actually fall asleep the first time you try to power nap. It's all about patterns. Make it a habit to try every day and eventually you'll master the power nap.

Try to take your power nap between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. That's when the brain's need for sleep begins to kick in.  

"When that happens you become drowsy and you may not be as effective at working because your alert levels aren't as good," said Dr. Ortiz.

If it's done right, just a few minutes of shut-eye can produce the best version of you every day.