The Matt Walker Podcast

#07: Naps

October 25, 2021 Dr. Matt Walker
The Matt Walker Podcast
#07: Naps
Show Notes

As the great Roman poet, Ovid, once said, “There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than all the alcohol ever distilled.” But are naps always a good thing? Are we even designed to nap? And if you do nap, when should you do it, and for how long? 

Today Matt explores the benefits and pitfalls of napping, how napping may fall in line with our pre-programmed sleep patterns as humans (a natural drop in alertness between 1 and 4pm each day), and what it means if you find yourself waking up from an accidental nap on the couch right before bed. 

You’ll also hear about the NASA nap culture, sleep inertia (which can include a feeling of a “sleep hangover”), and Matt’s advice for how to use naps to your advantage. If done correctly, for most people not struggling with sleep or insomnia, naps can improve alertness, task performance, creativity, and even reduce blood pressure. However, there is a dark side to napping that Matt discusses in detail, and why that can be the case. So join Matt as he walks you through both the advantages and disadvantages of napping!

Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor and none of the content in this podcast should be considered as medical advice in any way, shape or form, nor prescriptive in any way.

The episode is sponsored by the wonderful folks over at Athletic Greens, who are providing a discount and free product if you use the link above. Athletic Greens is a comprehensive daily nutritional beverage containing 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food-sourced ingredients, including a multivitamin, multimineral, probiotic.

So, head on over to Athletic Greens and get a free year supply of Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs today. Finally, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out on Instagram @drmattwalker.

Detailed Scientific Literature

Naps and overview (by the amazing Prof. Christopher Barnes)

The good and the bad of naps

Naps and Mortality

Naps, Brain function & Performance