TikTok Explains How Gen Z, Gen X, Millennials, and Different Generations Nap Best

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Who knew how you nap could explain what generation you’re a part of? Whether you think napping should take place as a normal occurrence or naps should be outlawed, one TikToker would like to predict what generation you’re in. 

TikTok comedian Jake Lambert posted a video explaining the difference in how generations view napping. While this may have started as a joke, he makes a lot of valid points — even some backed by research. 

“I like the way different generations approach napping,” Lambert begins to say. First he focuses on the boomers, which is anyone born between 1946-1964. (1)

Boomers disguise their naps, most of the time accidentally falling asleep while watching TV or reading a book. However, they’ll never say they need a nap, but you can often find them on the couch “resting their eyes.” (1)

Next Lambert describes Gen X as the “toughest generation” seeing napping as a sign of weakness. The only time napping is acceptable is if they’re hungover. (1)

If you love napping, you’re probably a millennial. Lambert says they see naps as their “god-given right” and they’ll tell anyone about how wonderful they feel after taking one. Be warned, he says 20 minute power naps are all millennials can handle, or else, “they’ll wake up not knowing who they are, where they are, or what year it is.” (1)

Last, but certainly not least, generation X. Unlike the other generations, naps are, stereotypically and factually, quintessential to their life. Lambert said, “they basically see life as something that interrupts their naps.” Naps are equivalent to a basic human right and they believe they should be allowed to nap whenever and wherever they want. He ends the video by saying “gen x is just cats in human bodies.”

While these are fun anecdotes, is there any truth behind them? 

According to a survey in 2021 by Plushbeds, Gen X takes the longest naps, averaging 51 minutes. Gen Z, on the other hand, took the quickest naps, averaging 34 minutes. Maybe Gen X isn’t as tough as they appear? (2)

Gen Z does live up to their belief in napping anywhere, anytime, however, with the survey finding 80 percent of them admitting to napping at work, compared to 60 percent of Gen Xers, 70 percent of millennials, and 71 percent of boomers. (2)

Overall, all generations take naps and that’s okay. Naps do not have to be the enemy; in fact there are plenty of benefits from napping, but they also shouldn’t be your most common source of sleep. 

Sleepopolis’s director of sleep health, Dr. Shelby Harris, explains that a 20-minute power nap in the early afternoon is great for your productivity, energy, and mood. 

But, naps are only great if you’re sleeping well at night, Harris says. If you’re sleeping well at night, then a quick power nap isn’t bad for you. 

She recommends setting your alarm or timer for 30 minutes, allowing you some time to fall asleep. You should try and aim for a nap earlier in the day, preferably anytime before 2 p.m. Any nap longer than this could leave you waking up feeling groggy and unproductive, normally the opposite of what you want from your nap. 

Just like going to bed at night, Harris suggests trying to make your nap space quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable

Whether you fit into your own generation’s napping practices or you subscribe to a different generation’s beliefs, may your naps be calming and plentiful, unless you’re a Gen Xer. 

  • 1. Lambert, Jake. jakelambertcomedy on TikTok. Sept. 26 2024. https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZT8Y6VSU9/.

  • 2. Merton, Amber. Plushbeds. October 25 2021. https://www.plushbeds.com/blogs/green-sleep/just-five-more-minutes-america-s-napping-tendencies-survey.

  • Harris, Shelby. Personal Interview. September 2024.

Julia Medina

Julia Medina

Julia is a Staff News Writer for Sleepopolis. From sleep news and education to the latest sleep trends, her goal is to keep you informed about what's going on in the world of sleep, dreams, mattresses, and more. Julia graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in communications and minors in film and sociology. In her free time she loves exploring new cities, relaxing with a good tv show, and getting some good quality sleep.

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