Even if you’re well-rested, naps can improve your performance in a variety of ways. Not only do they boost your reaction time, attention, and alertness, naps also prevent you from acquiring a “sleep debt” (less than 7–8 hours of sleep per night). When you’re on patrol, outside the wire, or on staff duty, getting the optimal amount of sleep might not be possible. In those scenarios, naps are a critical recovery tool that can be leveraged to help you be at your best mentally, physically, and emotionally. While your brain will always perform better with more sleep, being strategic with your naps also can help combat sleep loss when conditions aren’t ideal.
Dhand, R., & Sohal, H. (2006). Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 12, 379–382.