Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Naps



It’s not a surprise to know that sleep and mental health are intimately connected to many people. Sleeping for longs hours is usually linked to diagnoses of depression and is almost always accompanied by several other symptoms and factors. This is backed by studies showing that about 60% to 90% of adults with major depression have had sleep disturbances in some form or shape. An example would be napping for extensive hours every day, a habit also known as a depression nap. Unfortunately, this is not a term that describes some meditation or natural healing techniques. It is often heard these days, especially during these COVID times.

Alex Dimitriu, a sleep medicine expert, psychiatrist, and founder of the Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine states that depression naps mean taking a nap when you feel sad or down in an attempt to improve one’s mood. However, it may not actually signify that there is a serious problem. He also stressed the importance of keeping in mind that there is a big distinction between just feeling down, sad, and sleepy to being depressed. Often, it can be difficult to recognize your own feelings, and so people who are exhausted with their work immediately think that they are depressed.


Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about depression naps.

Are naps good for mental health?

Sleep is critical to your ability to learn and to the brain’s capacity to process memory. Naps do help in rooting freshly learned information in the nervous system and could enhance memory recollection. A particular study revealed that a 60 to 90-minute nap could assist learning and encourage a full night’s sleep.

Is a 30-minute nap better than no sleep?

Most often, a 30-minute nap is better than not sleeping at all. When you have just less than one hour, a power nap of 20 minutes could be great for you. But when you have more time, try to complete a cycle to be in better form until you can achieve some much-required shuteye.

Is sleeping a coping mechanism?

As posted in an article in Huffington Post, the term ‘depression nap’ is a means for those inflicted with depression to evade their emotions and use sleeping as a coping mechanism. Other people say that naps can last for 4 to 6 hours a day.

Why are 30-minute naps bad?

If you have a nap for more than 30 minutes, you may be feeling weary and groggy than you previously were. This is known as sleep inertia, which occurs because when more than 30 minutes have passed, our sleep gets deeper, and it can be more difficult to be active again after that.

Is a 2-hour nap too long?

Naps are fine. However, you will most probably want to take a rest for less than one hour and possibly want to nap in the early afternoon, such as before 2 or 3 in the afternoon. If you can take a power nap for just 15 to 20 minutes, it would be much better. Napping for one hour or more escalates the risk of getting into a deep phase of sleep.

Are daily naps healthy?

In a current study, experts state that napping two or three times a week may be healthy for your heart. Research also revealed that everyday napping might indicate insufficient nighttime sleep or a preexisting health issue. One particular expert also said that naps must be briefer than 30 minutes or more than 90 minutes.

How many hours should a nap last?

The important thing to remember is to keep your naps quick – about 10 to 20 minutes. This is so that you won’t go so far into your sleep cycle, which could actually cause you to feel woozy and even more tired than you previously were.

Why is napping badly for you?

Naps that go over 30 minutes a day could potentially cause life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular problems. A study performed and published in 2016 revealed that naps going over 60 minutes daily heightened the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by up to 50%.

Is napping a sign of bad health?

Experts say that napping twice or thrice a week may be beneficial for your heart’s health in a current study. They also state that napping every day may indicate insufficient nighttime sleep or an existing health condition. One expert reports that naps must be quicker than 30 minutes or up to an hour and a half.

Does napping make you fat?

It is a fact that if you went out to go brisk walking instead of, for instance, having an afternoon nap, you would have used up more energy on the brisk walk. However, sleeping does not lead to weight gain. The key is to balance the energy throughout prolonged periods of time.

What does sleep inertia feel like?

Sleep inertia is described as a physiological stated of abnormal sensorimotor and cognitive performance that is present instantly following an awakening. It exists during the shift from sleep to wakefulness. This is where a person experiences feelings of disorientation, sleepiness, and a decrease in motor dexterity.

How much sleep do you need by age?

For teenagers aged 14 to 17 years, they require 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Younger adults, on the other hand, need 7 to 9 hours. Adults 26 to 64 years old also need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Finally, older adults aged 65 and above are required to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Why do we wake up at 3 AM?

If you do awaken at 3 a.m. and cannot fall back to sleep, it might be for several reasons. This may be because of stress, a lighter sleep cycle, or existing health issues. Your awakenings at 3 a.m. may happen erratically and maybe nothing dangerous, but usual nights that go on like this could be an indication of insomnia.



It can be difficult to determine whether or not napping is essentially a depression symptom. Perhaps you are merely exhausted or really down from a negative situation or event. Hence, it is important first to ask yourself if your basic needs are met. These include eating healthily, having sufficient social life, engaging in exercise, and getting enough sleep.

Working for hours without spending some quality time with yourself, with family, or significant others could potentially lead to depression or burnout, words that are usually interchangeable and which could aggravate the confusion. If a person experiences mood swings on more days in a week, with a lack of interest in the things that he previously enjoyed doing, it may be the perfect time to visit a mental health professional. However, suicidal ideations have occurred. This is an immediate sign that professional help is necessary.