Is Napping Good For You?

I have always been a firm believer that everyone should take naps. I know that personally I like to get all my work done at night, and usually don’t end up getting the recommended 8 hours of sleeps. This leaves me very tired come mid-day, but throughout high school I learned that taking a nap when I got home from school would help me be very productive when I woke up. My parers strongly disagree, they always yell at me for taking naps saying it’s unhealthy and that I won’t be able to sleep at night.

Humans are one of the only mammals that only has one period for sleep and one period awake. Most mammals have many periods of sleep throughout the day. On the National Sleep Foundation’s website i found this explanation of the different types of napping:

  • Planned napping (also called preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. You may use this technique when you know that you will be up later than your normal bed time or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier.
  • Emergency napping occurs when you are suddenly very tired and cannot continue with the activity you were originally engaged in. This type of nap can be used to combat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.
  • Habitual napping is practiced when a person takes a nap at the same time each day. Young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.

The foundation has found that naps can actually be very beneficial. NASA has done studies on their astronauts showing that a 40 minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. (Sleep Foundation) Studies also show that scheduled naps can help those with narcolepsy. Naps are a way to relax, ease tension, and gain alertness. However, the foundation recommends only a strict 20-30 minute nap, which i have found that when I 1. set an alarm for my nap and don’t wake up naturally or 2. get less than my body feels it needs that I wake up groggier than before with a headache and am unable to concentrate. This is something I feel should be looked into further as sleep is becoming such a large issue in the US lately.

6 thoughts on “Is Napping Good For You?

  1. Alison B Mamtsis Post author


    I’m glad you connected with my blog! I definitely plan naps in between classes and find that I am more productive as well. I feel as though it doesn’t quite matter what the science says if you have self experimented and found that you feel better with a nap during the day, then I think best thing to do is take a nap! (unless we find out that napping leads to sudden death, which is clearly not the case) There are a lot of articles that state that we as humans just aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep anymore, and the quality of our sleep has diminished too due to all of the technology around us. Here is more information on that. And here is an article about why some people wake up grumpy, and why sometimes it’s good to take a nap.

  2. Jacklyn Nicole Hucke

    I am a huge napper. I nap almost every day between classes because my gap is huge. I am happy to know that naps are good for you and that they improve your performance. I understand why because after I wake up from a nap, I feel energized and ready to take on the day all over again! If I don’t nap, I become unproductive and lazy, which most likely leads to me laying in bed and falling asleep. Basically, my college life revolves around naps. They are a necessity if I want to succeed.

  3. Bradley Ross Wakai

    This is interesting because I never take naps. Out of the 365 days of the year, I probably take a nap on 5 of them, so I might have to try taking more naps if I am feeling sleepy.

  4. Nina Elizabeth Richards

    Wow, I had no idea that there were so many types of napping. I, also, am a strong believer that napping is important, especially since I’ve seen it in myself. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays my first class ends at 11:00 and my next class doesn’t start until 2:30, which means I can usually sneak a two hour nap in there. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have a gap from 12:30 to 2:30 so I can usually sneak an hour in there. I notice that if I don’t get my nap I tend to get cranky and I can’t function as well as I would like to, similar to a small child. In fact, it’s nap time for me right now…

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