Sara Mednick

The best time to nap is about six to eight hours after you wake up in the morning, said Sara Mednick, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. … You may not fall asleep during your nap — or at least you may not think you have — and that’s OK, Dr. Mednick said. We are often “somewhat conscious” in the early stages of sleep, she said, but “it’s still good rest.” She pointed to a recent study that found that drifting into the lightest stage of sleep — a sort of twilight zone where your mind wanders in a dreamlike way — for even one minute during a 20-minute rest generated more creativity and better problem-solving in young adults.

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