Why do naps make us feel better

Why do I feel like crap when I wake up from a nap? I love sleeping but hate napping (sleeping for less than 30 minutes) because almost without fail, I wake up disoriented, incredibly thirsty, and with my heart pounding, and it's deeply unpleasant. It feels sort of like a panic attack, actually, and takes me 10-15 minutes to recover from. Does this happen to anyone else? Why does it happen? Am I waking up in the middle of some critical stage of sleep? Or does it have to do with my health or lifestyle?

I exercise occasionally but not enough and consume a lot of caffeine, but I do generally get enough sleep at night, and I feel like the sleep is restful. I have high blood pressure that's under control with medication (an ACE inhibitor). My stress/anxiety level is moderate. Even when these factors vary, though--when I'm getting a lot of exercise, or not getting enough sleep, or cutting down on my caffeine intake--the way I feel when I wake up from a nap doesn't. What gives?

posted by rhiannonstone to Health & Fitness (34 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite