To determine the effects of brief naps on mood and electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep in sleep-deprived depressed patients, data from 19 hospitalized patients with depression were analyzed; all were kept awake from 0700h until the following day, when they were allowed 10-min naps at either 0830h or 1500h. Six of the patients showed a clinically significant improvement (greater than 40% change) on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) before the nap after all-night sleep deprivation, and the group as a whole showed a significant improvement on the HRSD, the Profile of Mood States, and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale subscale for depression. Naps did not alter mood in the responders, but did improve measured depression on the HRSD in the non-responders. Morning and afternoon naps did not differ significantly in their effects on mood or nap sleep. On the recovery sleep, patients who were classified as responders after the nap showed a significantly greater increase in delta (Stage 3 + 4) sleep compared with baseline than nonresponders.