Wise elders say that the body sleeps because it needs the sleep. Research says the impact of an afternoon nap is primarily determined by its duration. Studies have observed the effects of an afternoon nap lasting about 10 minutes to ones that are about 40–60 minutes and really long ones for over 90 minutes. Each type of nap has a different effect on the body and the brain it turns out. The short 10–20 minute nap ‒ a power nap or stage 2 nap ‒ that we all feel like indulging in, whether at home or at work, is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing an instrument.
Slightly longer naps of 30‒60 minutes – slow-wave sleep – is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing lessons or recalling directions. The long nap of 60–90 minutes, where you enter the REM rapid eye movement or deep sleep, stage of the sleep cycle, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.