Admit it…you love your naps. You come home from a long two classes and just need to take a nap before your next two. But is that nap helping you get through the day? Or actually making it harder for you?
This article from WedMD actually says napping can be even better than drinking coffee for a boost in energy! Apparently, caffeine is known to cut back memory performance, creating more mistakes. So even though you will have more energy, you will not be as focused. But also, napping for 20 minutes can make someone more awake and focused, and napping for 30 to 60 minutes helps with decision-making work, while napping for longer than that (60-90 minutes), helps make new connections in the brain once you are awake. The only problem with napping more than 30 minutes is you will wake up and feel groggy 🙁
In 2006, a study was done where naps were looked at. The scientists used a no-nap control and 5, 10, 20, and 30 minutes of sleep. They used 24 people who did not normally nap but got a good night’s worth of sleep. In the end, they decided the 10-minute nap was the best one because it did not leave a person feeling groggy when they woke up.
This power nap has it’s benefits. One study by the University of Athens Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health said that people who do not nap ended up with a higher coronary mortality. So power naps can be very good for the heart! They can also help cognitive function, which makes sense because if you are tired you are not thinking straight. Power naps also reduce stress and anxiety, which is perfect for a stressed out Penn State student! Ever feel a weird food craving randomly? A brief nap could solve that problem. Naps can also help improve physical performance. If you really want to go to the IM building after class but you think you’re too tired, take a power nap and then hit the gym! You’ll be surprised to see how much better you feel.
Although many people believe napping is bad, I feel from my studies napping has seemed to be a great idea. I was thinking of an experiment that could be done here at Penn State. I could get 10 students who nap and 10 who don’t and see how their grades, social life, and energy level are affected. Then, I could take my research and create my conclusion. Maybe an idea for next semester…