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.