As discussed on KTOE’s The Morning Blend on Wednesday, a new study has found that taking naps may help your brain process information it receives unconsciously. The Journal of Sleep Research study suggests a person’s decision-making when he or she is awake.

Mayo Clinic sleep specialist Dr. Eric Olson said, “A short nap strikes that balance between allowing you to be refreshed without giving you that hangover effect from the sleep.”

He explained longer naps can take you into deeper stages of sleep, “And, with that, then, it’s harder to get going when you awaken.” Doctors call it “sleep inertia.” Keeping your nap under 30 minutes can help avoid it.

The need for a longer nap may be a sign of nighttime sleep trouble and schedule, diet or bedtime routine all could be causes. “Or is there suspicion of a sleep disorder that’s interfering with what seems like should be an adequate amount of time in bed,” said Dr. Olson.

A sleep study can identify a disorder and lead to treatment. Sleep specialists also can suggest an improvement to bedtime habits. Getting help with your sleep can make napping simply refreshing instead of required.