Shorter naps — ones that last 20-30 minutes — are a whole other story. Senior research scientist and adjunct professor of kinesiology at University of Calgary, Amy Bender, told Triathlete that there is a benefit to short naps pre-workout and longer naps after heavy exercising as well. “We recommend 20-minute naps on important training and competition days, and a 90-minute nap on days off or recovery from a long or hard workout,” she explained. When you take a 20-minute nap before exercising, you’ll wake up feeling refocused and energized.
The key with pre-workout naps is to sleep for just long enough to feel rejuvenated for exercise and avoid going anything beyond that. You may have heard of the term “power naps.” This is what experts recommend as a pre-workout nap. According to pulmonologist and sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Samuel Gurevich, power naps can last anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes, and they “can help you refill your tank a bit” (via Cleveland Clinic).
Basically, there’s an art to napping if you want to get in some quick zzzs before hitting the gym. Here’s how to do it right.