Napping in adults is usually an indication that nighttime sleep is insufficient or a sleep disorder is present. When your work schedule and other obligations prevent you from obtaining adequate sleep at night, napping can be an effective way to “catch up” on your sleep. In fact, there are situations where a taking a daytime nap is very important, such as when a drowsy individual is about to get behind the wheel of car, or a sleepy student needs to study. Be aware that if a nap lasts longer than 20 or 30 minutes you may experience “sleep inertia” or confusion and grogginess upon awakening from the deep sleep.
If you are getting the recommended number of hours of sleep per night and you are napping, then you should talk to a health care professional.
If you find that you fall asleep unintentionally during the day (i.e., spontaneous naps), or become sleepy when inactive (e.g., driving, reading, etc) that is a sign of a significant problem. Begin sleeping more at night and if unintentional sleep or daytime sleepiness continues, see a health care professional.