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Can You Take Naps if You Have a Sleeping Disorder?

Updated: Jan 16

Maybe you’ve read that napping can benefit your health and provide a quick pick-me-up during a hard day. But can you take naps if you have a sleeping disorder? Sadly, if this is the case, resting your eyes for a bit might be more detrimental to your health than staying awake. Let’s briefly explore how napping affects three common sleep disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.

Midday naps can be very appealing to people who suffer from sleeplessness. Regrettably, they may maintain a cycle of drowsiness. If you rest more during the day, falling asleep when the sun settles may be challenging, exacerbating your insomnia. This, in consequence, increases your desire for a daytime snooze.

Insomniacs must maintain consistent sleep regimens that prioritize nightly sleep. Therefore, abstain from daytime naps if you have insomnia. Skipping naps develops a sleep deficit, aiding your efforts when you call it a day.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers must know that any time they spend sleeping without their CPAP devices—including power naps—is likely to result in apneas. If you decide to take a siesta, ensure that you wear your CPAP mask. If you don’t have your CPAP equipment with you, refrain from going to sleep.

Getting familiar with new CPAP equipment takes time, so avoiding the afternoon snooze may help you acclimate to it more comfortably. The more exhausted you are before bedtime, the more effortlessly you may fall asleep. This could also alleviate some of the discomfort associated with the transition phase as you become accustomed to using your CPAP equipment.


Narcolepsy is one sleeping disorder that benefits from daytime naps. Short naps of no longer than 20 minutes will allow you to feel more alert when you’re awake, and they shouldn’t affect your chances of falling asleep at night. Most patients with narcolepsy report that brief rests are rejuvenating, increasing awareness.

Plan your naps around the time when you have the greatest trouble staying awake. Typically, the post-lunch afternoon nap is the choice for many people. Lastly, many folks with narcolepsy find it worthwhile to take a nap before driving to increase their cognitive capabilities.

If you’re unsure if you’re suffering from one of these sleeping disorders, you can complete a sleep study to get to the bottom of it all. But at least you know the answer to the question of whether you can take naps if you have a sleeping disorder. In short, it depends on which sleeping disorder you have and what equipment can help you.

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