Napping: To Nap or Not to Nap?

When I was in grade school I rarely took naps, but since I have been in college I take at least a couple short naps throughout the week.  Now, there are some misconceptions about naps like they are only for children and the elderly or that you are lazy if you take naps, but that is not the case.  First, a nap is defined as sleeping for about 15 minutes to 90 minutes.  Ample time is about 20-30 minutes because it does not initiate sleep inertia, or grogginess, and you can reap the benefits of a good nap. Napping, however, is not to replace the normal amounts of sleep that you need through the night.  On that note, here are some of the great benefits of napping:

  1. Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. In other words, it can help you stay more alert in your classes, help you do better in your classes, and help you think more clearly.
  1. On top of that, the naps can increase your alertness as soon as you wake up and it can extend for a few hours later in the day. It helps keep you more aware throughout the day.  Usually after you wake up from a good night’s sleep you are a bit slow, but with naps you can get up on your feet and where you need you need to be a lot faster.
  1. It can also help those who have narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a medical condition where the person has an extreme tendency to fall asleep in relaxing conditions.  When people have this some physicians prescribe scheduled napping, meaning that you take naps at scheduled times even when you’re not tired, so they can prevent that urge to sleep later.
  1. Napping also has its psychological benefits as it can help you rejuvenate and relax your mind, which comes in handy when you get stressed with school or work. I know school can get stressful, especially when you have content heavy courses, so if you have a break before one of your harder classes, take a short nap to rejuvenate yourself.  This will get your brain working better and give you a sense of relaxation before you start learning some important information.

Naps can be very beneficial, but don’t nap for too long either or you will feel groggy and languid after the nap.  This usually happens around after an hour of napping, but this doesn’t mean don’t nap.  Like I said earlier a good 20-30-minute nap is the best way to get the benefits of napping, without the groggy feeling.  So, don’t feel like you are too young or old to nap, if you want to be a little more awake during your classes or just throughout the day in general, take a short nap, but preferably not during class!

Keep Painting Racers!

By: Caprisse Johnson, Dining Services Junior Nutrition Assistant

Resource: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping

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