How long is the perfect nap?  After two nights of hardly any sleep, I decided to delve into this age old question.

Experts say there is actually an art to napping .  Who knew?  When grandpa did it, it looked really easy.

More than 30% of Americans nap everyday.  However, in some countries they actually almost make it a requirement.  The perfect nap varies from person to person; the timing and duration of your nap depends on factors like age, genetics and individual sleep cycle.

The Wall Street Journal did a story on the art and science of napping and here is what they reported:

*If you’re dragging your feet and need a quick energy jolt, take a 10-to-20-minute power nap.

*To boost your memory, nap for about an hour. You’ll probably feel a little groggy when you wake up, but your ability to recall facts, faces and other info will be refreshed.

*To really recharge, take a 90-minute nap. It’ll give you a full cycle of sleep, meaning you’ll pass through the REM or dreaming stage, and will find it easier to wake up.

*Don’t nap too late in the day or you may find it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime. Between 1 and 4 pm is ideal, though it depends on when your alarm goes off in the morning and when you turn in at night.

*To avoid falling into too deep a sleep (which can make rousing yourself even harder), nap sitting slightly upright.

*If you’re sleep-deprived- and you likely are- napping is a great idea. But napping isn’t a recommended treatment for those suffering from insomnia.

[Via:  Wall Street Journal]