Keep naps brief, though, recommended Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
“You want to try waking up during the lighter stages of sleep, within the first 15 to 20 minutes,” Dasgupta told CBS News.
The goal is not to sleep long enough to reach your first REM cycle – about an hour to an hour and a half into sleep – he explained. If you do, you’ll wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed.
“We call it sleep inertia,” said Dasgupta.
For vacationers heading to different time zones and unfamiliar beds in hotels or relatives’ homes, catching up on sleep may pose more of a challenge. People often have trouble getting a good night’s sleep in a bed that’s not their own for the first night or two – a condition sleep experts call the “first night effect,” Dasgupta said.
Planning ahead can help you build catch-up sleep time into your vacation schedule, especially if it’s a more active holiday for you this year. Dasgupta recommends trying to stick with sleeping and waking times that give you seven or eight hours of sleep a night, keeping them within reasonable sleep/wake times of the day.