The prevalence of daytime napping and its relationship to nighttime sleep

Behav Med. Summer 2001;27(2):71-6. doi: 10.1080/08964280109595773.


Many healthy adults report daytime napping. Surprisingly few studies, however, have examined spontaneous napping behavior, especially very short naps, in healthy adults. The authors examined the prevalence of power naps (lasting less than 20 minutes) and longer naps (20 minutes or more) and their effects on nighttime sleep in a group of healthy young and middle-aged adults. The young and middle-aged adults reported very similar sleep and napping patterns, with approximately 74% of the participants in both groups reporting they had napped during a 7-day sleep-log period. Almost half of the participants reported that the average nap lasted less than 20 minutes. A multivariant analysis of variance (MANOVA) found no significant differences between the no-nap and the power-nap or long-nap groups in sleep quantity or quality for either age group. The current data suggested that power napping occurs frequently in healthy adults and that spontaneous napping does not negatively affect nighttime sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep*