Added 6:20PM EST Thanks to Redditors for the great questions. We are going to answer a few more than then turn in for the day.

Our Kickstarter campaign ends in 2 days and we would REALLY appreciate it if you could share the link with anyone who might find the Napwell interesting. To make sharing easy we made this:

If we did not get to your question or you would love to continue the conversation please follow us on twitter:


Hi Reddit,

We are Justin and Neil a couple of engineers and scientists that love napping so much we built our Kickstarter project: The Napwell! Ask us anything about napping. To learn more about us we have detailed bios below.

Follow us at

Justin Lee is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and PhD Candidate in a joint program with Harvard Medical School. He’s also the co-founder of where he sent cameras to the edge of space, as well as a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellow.

Neil Joglekar is Stanford graduate who co-founded Y Combinator backed ReelSurfer, and is the San Francisco Curator for the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers.

Comments: 217 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

the_high_roller24 karma

Do you need volunteers? Sleeping? You know, for science.

napwell12 karma

Always, connect with us @napwell.

purplewindex24 karma

When will you (or someone) be lobbying for naptime to be made a requirement for adults in the workplace?

napwell26 karma

What a great idea, perhaps we can get redditors to support a petition so we can start to get this process started! Different companies in different sectors approach napping very differently. For example companies like Google, Dropbox and the Huffington Post have nap pods in their offices while others have a pretty strong stigma against it.

purplewindex7 karma

This is something that I've thought would be a great idea for a long time. I think it's ridiculous to allow kids time to sleep in school, but not adults at work. I would be WAY more productive and chipper if I could take twenty minutes to snooze after lunch.

napwell9 karma

In fact studies have shown that napping has better effects than caffeine! We can think of it as a midday pick me up.

FastRedPonyCar3 karma

Some japanese companies do this. They have sleep tubes!

napwell6 karma

Japan has one of the more liberal sleep at work cultures, in fact they have a word for it - inemuri.

arianw2123 karma

How bad is pressing snooze? Is it better to set an alarm early and then do one long snooze, or just no snooze at all? I have so much trouble waking up in the morning and that snooze is so tempting.

napwell27 karma

There's a somewhat simplified answer+video to your question here:

The more accurate answer (which unfortunately isn't that helpful) is "it depends."

The "I feel terrible and want to go back to sleep" feeling occurs when you wake up abruptly in the middle of a deeper stage of sleep (See:, and if you wake up abruptly from deep sleep, then you might experience feelings of "sleep inertia" (groggy, heavy-headed feeling after waking up).

In the perfect world, you would have access to complete EEG readings and your alarm would only wake you up when you're in a lighter stage of sleep.

There's actually a couple of devices on the market trying to do this, but to the best of our knowledge (and based on personal correspondence with world-renowned napping/sleep experts), these devices are still woefully inaccurate in terms determining what stage of sleep a person is in. We're working on our own secret-sauce ways to address this issue, but research is still ongoing.

In terms of practical advice for you: (1) Try and see if you can get a gauge on what stage of sleep you just woke out of when the alarm first goes off (I acknowledge this is probably hard to do first thing in the morning...)

(2) If you don't feel that tired/groggy (and even if you don't have to urgently be anywhere), try to wake yourself up. The risk is that you might snooze and then wake up from a deeper sleep feeling sleep inertia.

(3) If you feel super-lousy when the first alarm goes off (and you don't have to urgently be anywhere), try the short snooze but when you're snoozing try to see if you can mentally keep yourself awake/active/prepared to wake up again. This might help make it easier for you to get up ready-to-go when the next snooze hits. Again, you want to avoid going into a deeper sleep, but I think for most alarm clocks the duration of the snooze is short enough such that this won't happen (unless you're extremely super-sleep deprived, in which case you might fall into a deep sleep in just a few minutes, but in that case you might be better off resting than forcing yourself to stay awake...)

Hope this helps.

crazycatperson14 karma

Do you know approximately when you'll have this alarm clock ready? I would love to have one of those.

napwell2 karma

If you support the Kickstarter at the beta level, we will have it in July. If not, we are set to ship the production mask in September.

Drabbeynormalblues2 karma

My fiancé doesn't wake up to alarms at all and it doesn't matter what stage he's in during his sleep cycle. I've had four of the so called loudest alarms on the market all going off at the same time and the man doesn't even roll over nor does his breathing change when the alarms go off. What would help him wake up on time because oversleeping his alarm and being late to work is constantly a problem. Also, he gets at least 8 - 9 hours of sleep and functions best at 9 - 10 hours of sleep.

napwell5 karma

Have you tried a non sound (light or vibration) alarm?

Dancing_RN17 karma

Why is it that no matter how much I sleep/nap, I NEVER wake up feeling rested. Never. I also have a REALLY hard time getting up early in the morning, whether I get 2, 6, 8, 12 or 16 hours of sleep. I don't get it! This occurs over all levels of fitness and healthy eating. Are there people who are just perpetually tired?

Edit: punctuation

napwell10 karma

I'd consider speaking with a physician about this.

There's a lot of reasons why someone might not be sleeping well each night (e.g., depression, obstructive sleep apnea, delayed sleep phase syndrome, etc.) and your physician a lot more questions about your sleep habits in order to more accurately determine what might be affecting your inability to get good sleep.

Open_Cubicle16 karma

Hello, I often have these dreams that turn into reality. I'll explain a little more in detail. I can recall having a dream, where i'm having dinner with two strangers a guy and a girl. I know we were talking, but I couldn't remember what it was about. When I woke from this dream I didn't know who the people were or where that place we were eating was at. Three years or so later I felt a feeling of deja vu as I sat in a restaurant with my then close work out buddy, and a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. Can you explain how several of my dreams had turned out to be realistic unplanned events of my future?

napwell9 karma

Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for this one (although I admit I've experienced it myself and have often been curious as well).

The best I can do for now is direct you to the Wiki page on deja vu (, but if you drop me a direct message (on our RHS of our Kickstarter page - "Contact Me") to remind me, I'll ask some of the sleep professors that I work with about this and get back to you.

smoothiefreak11 karma

How far are we from a future where naps are required in the workplace?

napwell7 karma

Hopefully not too far. The conversation will have to stress the health benefits of napping and also fight the cultural stigma of napping at work.

i_axe_the_questions11 karma

  • Are you guys familiar with some of the sleep tracking apps/software out there today? What do you guys think of these products? Are they effective? Gimmicky? Fake?
  • Do you think there is anything out there today that can reliably induce lucid dreaming?
  • What do you guys think about taking melatonin to aid in sleep?
  • What are your recommendations about sleep schedules/sleeping habits in general?

napwell9 karma

Great question. I'm going to group my answers by category below:

(1) Sleep-tracking devices

(1a) Actigraphy sleep-tracking devices (e.g., Fitbit, Jawbone, Lark, Wakemate) These devices work by measuring wrist/arm movement and inferring physical activity (or lack thereof). While I think they might work fine in terms of tracking e.g., how often you run, they're still pretty limited in terms of being able to stage sleep (or for that matter, even determining if you're asleep or awake). See:

That being said, improvements in both hardware and signal processing algorithms may make such devices more accurate in the future.

(1b) iPhone App sleep-tracking devices (the ones you put on your bed when you sleep) Other than extreme cases (e.g., when I get out of the bed to use the restroom or when I know I'm moving around a lot), I haven't found these to be too accurate (I think this might vary significantly depending on what type of mattress one has though). There's also the issue of: if you sleep with a partner, then what?

(1c) Headgear. (e.g., Zeo) These devices try to determine what stage of sleep a person is in via a forehead EEG sensor (sometimes in conjunction with other sensors). To the best of our knowledge (and based on personal correspondence with world-renowned napping/sleep experts), these devices give inaccurate readings of sleep cycle.

I think these have promise, but a lot more research needs to be done in terms of better sensors and signal processing in order to get a good reading from just the forehead. (Of course, if you wore a complete EEG to sleep each night, you might get a pretty good reading!)

(2) Lucid dreaming (e.g., Remee) I pretty skeptical of all of these.

(3) Melatonin Although they're generally okay in small amounts, please talk to your physician about taking these.

If you're having trouble sleeping at night, consider using F.lux on your computers.

(4) General recommendations.

napwell7 karma

Re: the comments below asking for more details on why polyphasic sleep is bad.

*First, I want to clarify/reiterate that biphasic sleep (e.g., sleeping at night and taking a nap during the day) is perfectly fine. My concerns are with the "Uberman"-like polyphasic sleep schedules. (See the figure in: as a reference)

Now, as to why these forms of polyphasic sleep are bad:

(1) They completely mess up your circadian rhythms. People have evolved to naturally up-regulate production of certain anti-cancer proteins during the day (e.g., p53), when you tend to be exposed to more carcinogens (e.g., UV radiation or chemicals from your environment). By disrupting your normal circadian rhythms, these cycles of anti-cancer proteins are also disregulated, and you lose their protective effect (so e.g., UV exposure has a higher chance giving you cancer than someone who has normal circadian rhythms).

Short overview of this:

michaelc4 points out aptly below that it's hard to get people to enroll in studies. However, we do have the following evidence of why disrupting normal circadian rhythms is a really bad idea.

(i) Molecular studies in mice:

(ii) Epidemiological studies from occupations that "force" people to have disrupted circadian rhythms (e.g., night-shift nurses).

(2) When you're doing Uberman sleep, you're probably never getting through a full cycle of sleep. This means your brain is spending less time integrating stuff you've learned with stuff you already know (sleep spindles occur in phase 2 sleep and are believed to be indicative of your brain doing this "knowledge-integration").

Also you're more likely to be sleep deprived in general (which comes along with its own set of problems).

puredemo3 karma

DO NOT polyphasic sleep (beyond the simple biphasic). There's strong scientific evidence that such patterns of sleep significantly increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Could you link to some of that evidence?

napwell1 karma

*a lot people asked a similar question, so i just added an answer above. See:

i_axe_the_questions2 karma

Can you elaborate on the point about not undergoing polyphasic sleep? What constitutes polyphasic sleep versus simply taking a nap? Should I be concerned if I take more than 1 nap on weekends?

napwell1 karma

*a lot people asked a similar question, so i just added an answer above.

I probably should have clarified better: "biphasic" is okay. The polyphasic sleep schedules that will really mess you up are the ones like the Uberman.

le-anonymoose1 karma

I've read some articles online that suggests that biphasic sleep is actually a more natural way for people to rest, and before the industrial revolution this is how people slept. What are your thoughts on this? I've noticed that my body gravitates towards sleeping 4-5 hours at night and then a 2-3 hour nap later in the day.

napwell1 karma

*a lot people asked a similar question, so i just added an answer above.

What you've described is not so much the type of polyphasic sleep I'm against (biphasic ok. Uberman bad).


Edit: added permalink.

michaelc41 karma

Not sure how there can be strong evidence against polyphasic sleep given that it's not easy to get participants let alone accurately track people. Furthermore, polyphasic sleep began to recently for there to be any longterm studies.

napwell2 karma

*a lot people asked a similar question, so i just added an answer above.


Edit: added permalink.

sassyfrazz8 karma

Is there any negative affect caused by constantly (every few weeks) switched sleeping patterns?

napwell6 karma

Yes. Cancer, heart disease, earlier death, etc.

You might be interested in reading epidemiological studies of night-shift nurses and flight-stewardesses that fly east-west.

NoPr0blemz8 karma

Do schools start to early to facilitate proper learning? I have always felt this was the truth, but I was wondering if there was any research to suggest later start times led to higher grades, or more attentive students.

napwell9 karma

Thanks for the question! We actually just read this article yesterday on this topic. A delay of 25 minutes to the start of school would give students an average of 8 hours of sleep which would allow them to access all the benefits of a full nights sleep. The study they refer too is also interesting:

Open_Cubicle6 karma

Since no one is asking questions regarding your AMA. Im gonna just blow you up with random things regarding napping. Why do kindergarten teachers make children take naps?

napwell5 karma

This is still a debated topic, but there's a recent study touting the benefits of naps on pre-schooler cognitive function.


Actual paper:

Mycrewrunrun6 karma

When are the best and worst times to nap?

napwell7 karma

Don't want to generalize too much, but for those that sleep at night the best time for a nap is usually midafternoon, around 3 p.m. This is typically when the body has a lower level of alertness and the nap will not affect sleep that night. This is different for those that work at night or have Narcolepsy, etc.

Champion_of_Charms3 karma

How long of a nap?

napwell7 karma

According to Dr. Mednick of UCR different nap lengths have different benefits for the brain.

Pulling from this article:

For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.

For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.

Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.

Saaamiles6 karma


napwell14 karma

Yes! Luckily for me, I have a pretty understanding PI who actually encourages naps at work. They're great for you!

If you ever get "caught" napping at work, I suggest showing your boss the following:

(1) tell him to watch the following TEDx video on why Naps are awesome for workplace producitivity.

(2) you might also want to tell him that the following companies all have very liberal napping policies (some going as far as to having dedicated napping rooms): - Google - AOL - Cisco - Huffington Post - Proctor & Gamble

(3) if he’s a sports fan, tell him that professional athletes nap to keep at peak performance.

(4) Naps are also great for reducing risk of heart disease, so that would be a plus in terms of medical expenses for your company as well.

Taco-riffic4 karma

Are you more likely to have sleep apnea if you have an overbite? Also, how difficult is it to change your sleep cycle?

napwell3 karma

TLDR; Yes. (obviously, it depends how severe the overbite is though)

From the Cleveland Clinic website: "Certain physical traits and clinical features are common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. These include excessive weight, large neck, and structural abnormalities reducing the diameter of the upper airway, such as nasal obstruction, a low-hanging soft palate, enlarged tonsils, or a small jaw with an overbite."

I'm not sure what you mean by "change your sleep cycle." Do you mean when you go from one timezone to another or something else?

StudentCookBook3 karma

I think he meant how long does it take to adapt to a normal sleep cycle (eg sleeping from 11pm to 7pm instead of 3am to 12pm).

How would you do this?

mroo7oo72 karma

It takes about one day per hour you are trying to convert. Obviously, everyone adjusts a bit differently.

napwell2 karma

Great, thanks for the help. These AMAs are exhausting!

kumarovski4 karma

I bought one of your products. I better wake up twice as productive.

puredemo3 karma

..and better in bed.

satanic_badgers3 karma

What are your thoughts on lucid dreaming, does it exist, and if so how can it be brought about effectively.

napwell2 karma

Answered above in products question. tl;dr - lucid dreaming definitely exists we are skeptical about lucid dreaming products.

DeSanti3 karma

Good evening to you both, thanks for doing the AMA!

So my question is a bit diffuse I suppose, but I keep hearing some people talk about how "polyphasic sleep is awesome!" and that it's some sort of hidden gem of how to be successful and 'trick' the body, and so on. Now I'm naturally skeptical to people all of this, and more so when I heard of the 'ubermensch sleep schedule' , which is explained as this:

This is a logbook of our attempt to adapt the Ubermans sleep schedule - a polyphasic sleep pattern. This means that we sleep six times per day - 20-30 minutes at a time every four hours. In principle we trick our bodies to enter the REM-phase quickly after falling asleep, resulting in better rest in a shorter time. Thus we have about 5 more waking hours in a day. Follow our endeavour towards that goal in our blog...

So what is your take on this? A viable solution to live out the rest of ones life? A path to avoiding sleep all together?

napwell4 karma

Don't do it.

There's strong scientific evidence that such patterns of sleep significantly increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and a host of other medical problems.

rangeroversport3 karma


napwell3 karma

Depending on its severity, sleep apnea can be pretty nasty.

*The below are "worst-case symptoms" caused by transient hypoxia during sleep and probably not what the majority of people with sleep apnea will experience, but they're something you should be aware of nonetheless.

(1) Higher risk of sudden cardiac death

(2) Deficits in memory and spatial orientation

Although being overweight is certainly a risk factor for sleep apnea, not all people with sleep apnea are overweight. You might just naturally have a smaller/more-obstructed airway. If your sleep apnea is bothering you, please consider consulting with a physician.

-voldemort3 karma

Sometimes when I nap, I get sleep paralysis. I imagine footsteps, figures approaching me, voices, even "physical" sensations like nails running down my legs and back. I noticed it happened more often when I slept on my back, so I started sleeping on my side. Now it is starting to happen regardless of my position. What can I do to prevent this/reduce the frequency?

napwell4 karma

In REM sleep, your body normally experiences complete muscle atonia ("sleep paralysis"). This keeps you from acting out on your dreams.

I'm not sure if the sensations you are feeling are a part of dreams you're having or if you're in this sortof disrupted-REM state.

Another possibility is cataplexy, but this is usually associated with narcolepsy and occurs when you're falling asleep as opposed to when you're waking.

As for reducing frequency, drugs exist but I wouldn't recommended them and I don't think they're particularly effective. I don't know if this is possible or not, but perhaps you could try being being actively aware of what's going on the next time that happens and trying to steer the experience in a more positive direction.

Dafapattack313 karma

What are the effects on alcohol and sleeping like for someone go has a drink before bed as a "night cap" and someone who is an alcoholic and needs booze to sleep?

napwell2 karma

Liquor can affect your sleep in (at least) the following ways:

(1) it's a diuretic, which might make you need to pee in the middle of the night

(2) decreases muscle tone in the upper airway, which might exacerbate conditions like obstructive sleep apnea

(3) it may be contraindicated for several sleep medications

mroo7oo72 karma

RPSGT here. I am enjoying reading through this AMA and the resources you two are providing.

napwell1 karma

Thanks, love to get your thoughts on what we are building!

Open_Cubicle2 karma

A friend of mine once told me that those who tend to sleep more frequently and for longer periods of time die at a much younger age than those that don't sleep for longer periods of time. Is this true?

napwell4 karma

I don't know of any studies that support that statement.

Dottiifer2 karma

What is the most interesting study you've done about napping?

napwell5 karma

We didn't do it ourselves, but we think this study by NASA is pretty interesting. We tried to explain the results on Priceonomics:

We look forward to doing our own very soon!

Magical_Bob2 karma

I heard/read that its best to drink a coffee directly before a nap as when you awake 20-30 minutes down the line the caffeine has taken effect in the body and and you'll feel more alert. Is this true in anyway or is it just a myth?

napwell2 karma

The "caffeine nap" which you've described is a thing.

I’ve heard anecdotally that people who really really need to be on top of the ball (e.g., an ER surgeon just getting word that there’s a huge accident and patients will be coming in in about 25 minutes) might take a caffeine nap (drink caffeine, then take a nap and when they awaken they get both the benefits of the nap + caffeine). So it's true that this happens and I believe that it works, but it's not something I would recommend you do on a routine basis.

pokemon06092 karma

Is it true that you get better sleep if you sleep on your right side?

napwell4 karma

I haven't heard that before.

I do however, remember from my EMT years that for women who are pregnant, sleeping on your LEFT side is better (improves bloodflow).

boblobloglaw2 karma


napwell2 karma

Have you tried a mask?

TrioQ2 karma

You stated you were skeptical about lucid dreaming. Why is that?

napwell3 karma

Not so much skeptical of lucid dreaming itself (I've had many myself) but of the devices that claim help people lucid dream.

deloreanz2 karma

What is your stance on polyphasic sleep schedules? I've talked to people who have had success with dymaxion while I've had success testing biphasic consisting of two sessions of about 2-3 hours each.

napwell2 karma

Against it.

There's strong scientific evidence that such patterns of sleep significantly increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Kronix1 karma

How do I know if I'm in a deep or light sleep? What is the recommended minimum and maximum hours sleep? Does liquor affect sleep?

napwell1 karma

Hard to tell for sure if you're in a deep or light sleep unless you're wearing an EEG.

Min/Max hours of sleep can vary from person to person (depends on age, genetics, etc.). One thing that's often suggested is: "try sleeping and naturally waking for a week" to determine what your natural sleep duration should be.

Liquor can affect your sleep in (at least) the following ways: (1) it's a diuretic, which might make you need to pee in the middle of the night (2) decreases muscle tone in the upper airway, which might exacerbate conditions like obstructive sleep apnea (3) it may be contraindicated for several sleep medications

Jeff_eljefe1 karma

Hey thanks for the AMA I was wondering 2 things: 1. Sleep poralasis, why is it so many people have horrible experiences when it happens ex. Seeing dark figures, feeling of being choked etc.

  1. I seem to get a lot of sleep (between 7-10 hrs. most nights) but it's still very difficult for me to get up in the morning, why is that? Anything I can do to help? Thanks!

napwell1 karma

  1. I wrote an answer above Re: "sleep paralysis" (see reply to "voldemort")

  2. You might be waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle (from deep sleep). Consider using a sunrise alarm clock (or a related product like Napwell) or waking to natural sunrise each morning. Also, consider being consistent with the times you sleep/wake each day.

If you're feeling depressed, that might also influence your overall energy levels and make it tough for you to want to get up eh morning.

EckhartsLadder1 karma

I've been wondering something about the nature of sleep, hopefully you can answer it.

If I sleep for a really long one time one night, like 10-12 hours, do I need less sleep the next night (and how would my body function off, say, 4 hours of sleep)? I guess this is assuming I stayed awake for 16 hours in-between.

Also, are there any restful benefits similar to sleep attained by lying down trying to sleep, but not actually sleeping (or sleeping very lightly)?

napwell1 karma

Your mental acuity starts decays the longer you are awake for. I wouldn't recommend the "long-sleep-night-followed-by-short-sleep-night" to anyone, but if you are following such a sleep cycle, I'd suggest taking naps during your 16-hour day to keep your brain sharp.

In terms of benefits of just resting your eyes, not that much benefit. (see Sara Mednick's TedX talk: In terms of light sleep - it can help you feel more alert but won't do much in terms of helping you integrate things you've learned during th day.

LemonTeeth1 karma

I sleep roughly 6 hours a night. Is that enough for a man in his mid-twenties? I do so because I just have a hard time shutting off and I do a lot of work on a computer.

margarita921 karma

I have a question about a situation that used to happen to me. I would return home from my morning classes and lay in bed to take a quick nap. But I wouldn't actually fall sleep. I was neither conscious nor unconscious, more like in some state in the middle of both (like meditation, I guess). But I felt rested afterwards. Why does this happen?

napwell2 karma

Probably you were in a lighter stage of sleep. Short naps can definitely make you feel well-rested after waking up.

jagonfury1 karma

Has anyone ever died from lack of sleep

napwell3 karma


When I used to work as an EMT, I was told: "your body can run on adrenaline for about 48 hours and then it absolutely shuts down." You should probably listen to your body and sleep then.

Although the above link is a more dramatic case (if you google around, there's tons of other stories like the above where a guy is playing video games or doing something else intently, forces himself to not sleep, and then dies), if you chronically don't get enough sleep, it can significantly increase your risk of heart disease (stroke, MI), diabetes, memory loss, cancer, etc.

EasternEuropeSlave1 karma

When I come from work in the afternoon and I take a half-an-hour long nap, I am fresh to stay up until midnight no problemo. When I do not take a nap, I die easily. Does a short nap help the body to regenerate after a hard work day?

Rodlund1 karma

I've heard from many people, and read many online articles explaining how we sleep in 90 minutes "cycles" and it's better to plan your night of sleep around that idea. For example, it's better to sleep 6, 7.5 or 9 hours because you will wake up in between the cycles. How much truth is there to this?

napwell2 karma


It's true that the "typical sleep cycle" is ~90 minutes, but the length of that can very from person to person (and from period to period in an individual's life). Additionally, the duration of the very first cycle may vary significantly as e.g., if you're very tired, you might drop into deep sleep (stage 3) in just a few minutes.

So it's probably not worth it trying to sleep exactly 6, 7.5, or 9 hours.

Fortunately, by 6+ hours of sleep (and with external cues like sunlight on your face), you will probably be past your deepest stages of sleep (your cycles won't be going as deep by that time).

whentheredredrobin1 karma

If I attempt to nap, I end up sleeping for between 3 and 4 hours, and wake feeling awful. How do I nap so that I actually feel better after napping, not worse? I get between 7 and 11 hours of sleep per night.

napwell1 karma

The "wake up feeling awful" feeling you've described is called "sleep inertia." It happens when you abruptly awaken in the middle of a sleep cycle (from a deeper stage of sleep).

To avoid this: (1) If you're napping just to get an energy boost during the day, consider napping for just 20-30 minutes (set an alarm).

(2) If you've just learned something really important or are stuck on a particularly difficult problem, consider napping for 1.5 hours (with the objective being to get through a complete cycle of sleep, hopefully without going too far into your next cycle)

(3) On a bit of a personal plug: I've gotten similar feelings before and am working on a product to help address this problem. (

hydrolyse1 karma

When i'm studying for an exam, and I need to pull an allnighter, do you think it's better to rest for a few hours or just keep going.. Don't really have a problem when I just keep going, but maybe I'll remember things better when I have slept... How long should i sleep? Like 30 mins or three hours? Thanks in advance!

napwell3 karma

You will probably remember things better if you take a nap. Try 1.5 hrs or 3 hrs.

One of the leading theories right now is that "sleep spindles" (which occur during stage 2 of sleep) are associated with the integration of new information into existing knowledge, which might help you remember things better.