How Long After Lunch Can I Nap (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least 45 minutes 

People take naps in the afternoon, after lunch to give themselves a break from the long, tiring day. They call afternoon naps, “power nap” and believe it gives them the energy to work energetically for the rest of the day. But there has to be a gap in between your lunch and nap as your food wouldn’t have digested yet. Food not digested completely will result in complications such as acidity, heartburns, and accumulation of unwanted fat in your body, and so on. Naps should last for a period of 10 to 20 minutes and not longer.  

How Long After Lunch Can I Nap?  

Afternoon naps are otherwise called “siesta” There has always been a discussion on whether afternoon naps are healthy or not. After well-done research, doctors have come to a conclusion that, according to your natural body cycle, if you have your lunch around 12:15 to 12:20, then you can take your nap around 1 in the afternoon. You should limit your nap to 20 minutes.  

Meal  After How Long Can You Nap 
Breakfast  Do not sleep after breakfast. Go for a walk or do light exercises. 
Lunch Wait for at least 45 minutes to an hour. 
Dinner Approximately 3 hours after eating your last meal.  

You should fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day because changing your sleeping and eating patterns on a regular basis is going to make you unhealthy and affect your body. Falling asleep in the same place, at the same time are some of the ways you can make this possible.  

In summary, you should give enough time for the food in your stomach to move to your small intestine, which means, you have to let your food get digested. If this gets disrupted, the undigested food will cause health complications.   

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Why Does it Take So Long to Nap After Lunch?  

Falling asleep as soon as you complete your lunch or any meal in that case is not going to digest the food properly and will cause burns in the heart and stomach upsets. The reason for the onset of acidity in adults is seen to have come from taking naps without a break in between your meals. This happens because, when you sleep immediately after lunch, the food not digested will flow back to your digestive system. This juice is acidic in nature and therefore causes burns. 

People that are keen to not put on weight or develop fat in the body will stay away from afternoon naps. To prevent gaining excessive weight, people go for brisk walks or do exercises which will keep them energized. Keeping yourself energized or doing things that will give energy to your body will help you remove all the excessive fat. Studies suggest that food left undigested will lead to obesity.  

There are also a few studies that suggest that people who tend to take afternoon naps are the ones that are prone to strokes. It is said that people who tend to wait for a longer time between their meal and their naps turn out to be the healthiest adults.  

Falling asleep without engaging in any physical activity is not advised by doctors. You should help your body to burn all the calories accumulated from your afternoon meal. Make sure to not do any heavy exercises though. Insomnia is seen as a long-term side effect of afternoon naps. The cons of afternoon naps are much higher than the pros, which is why you should try and avoid them.  

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Conclusion 

Afternoon naps are not as bad as most research portrays them to be. There are also a few beneficiaries that they give us. Countries around Europe look at afternoon naps as a must. The pros of naps after lunch are, it helps your overall performance and boosts your energy, it helps you to stay calm and reduces your stress levels, it is good for your heart and increases your cognitive ability. However, naps should last for a period of less than half an hour at max. Prolonging it is going to make you even more tired. Afternoon naps are healthy as long as you keep a check on doing it right.  

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11325-020-02118-w
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125359
  3. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=rNHtDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA283&dq=How+Long+After+Lunch+Can+I+Nap&ots=PyhbPBw8Ic&sig=UaBi1UsW3_PIdvMGHdjUfDQI4-g&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=How%20Long%20After%20Lunch%20Can%20I%20Nap&f=false
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