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How To Get Up From A Nap Without Feeling Groggy

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

by Gillian George. |


I believe most of us have experienced feeling groggy after getting up from a nap at least once in our life. Naps are good for us, but it can be counter-intuitive to oversleep from a nap. Often times, regardless of how long or short the nap that we take, somehow we still end up feeling groggy, so here are some tips on how to get up from a nap without feeling that way!


1. Keep your nap time between 20 to 30 minutes

Many sleep experts recommend a nap time between 20 to 30 minutes so you won't fall into a deep sleep, which will make it even harder to get up later. According to the Director of Outpatient Sleep Services at Summit Medical Group, Dr Allison Kole, the ideal nap time is around 20 minutes. If longer than that, it tends to leave people sleepier. Longer naps can cause you to feel groggy as they require waking up from a deeper sleep. This so-called ‘power nap’ is particularly important for people who are tired during the day and did not get enough sleep the night before, and want to supplement their sleep a little bit.


2. Do something energizing after your nap

After getting up from your nap, try giving yourself a "wake-up call", such as washing your face, doing some light stretching or going for a walk. Research shows that washing your face and getting some sunlight can combat post-nap grogginess whereas light exercise, such as stretching and walking can boost energy and mood, which can fend off post-nap slumps. There was a research in 2016 suggesting that getting a glimpse of the sunrise might help you to speed up the process of feeling fully alert after waking up which also prevent grogginess. Washing your face with cold water will stimulate the nerves in your face, helping you to wake up and combat grogginess.


3. Drink a glass of water after your nap

Drinking water helps to ensure that you stay alert after waking up whether it is from a long sleep or a nap. Dehydration often leads to fatigue, so drinking water as soon as you wake up from a nap is a great way to make sure you don't feel drained.


4. Get out of bed right after you wake up

I believe all of us will press the snooze button as soon as the alarm rings or spend a few minutes scrolling on your cell phone, but you need to fight the urge. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle for two or three times in a 30 minute period is worse. By snoozing an alarm and falling back asleep, you will fall back into a sleep cycle, which will only worsen the problem and make you feel more tired and groggy. Therefore, you need to get out of bed straight away after you wake up to prevent for falling into another deep sleep. And when you get out of bed, open the curtains or blinds to alert your body that it isn't bedtime anymore or else you will end up sleeping again.


5. Try a caffeine nap

Yup, you read it right, a caffeine nap, which means drinking some caffeine right before your nap. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases activity in your brain and nervous system as well as the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. In small doses, caffeine can make you feel refreshed and focused if taken in small doses but in large doses, caffeine can make you feel anxious and have difficulty sleeping. You will wake up feeling extra refreshed and energized because the effects of caffeine usually peak around 30-60 minutes after consumption, which is shortly after you wake up from a nap, that is if things go well. If it’s not, let say you drink coffee too long before you plan to nap, then you might risk losing your opportunity for a nap if the caffeine sets in and keeps you awake. This one comes down to timing as all of us want to feel fresh and energized after a nap because isn’t that the point of napping; to recharge ourselves, right?


These are a few tips that you can follow to prevent feeling groggy after you wake up from a nap. Good luck in trying out these tips!

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