Is Napping Bad?

I love to sleep. Daytime, nighttime, standing, sitting-you name it; I will pass out if I have the chance. Obviously, I am always a hardworking, ambitious student who does not go to sleep at night until my work is complete. Inevitably, this calls for some (way too many) late nights. Guilty of procrastination, I find way too many things to do besides get into bed and go to sleep. The screeching of my alarm clock in the morning makes my ears bleed (not actually), and my next thought as I unhappily wake up is when I can fit in that afternoon nap. The feeling of getting into bed after some exhausting and boring morning classes is the most satisfying moment ever. I tend to take very long naps; a few hours at the least. When I wake up groggy, and usually unaware of what day it is (do not act like this has not happened to you), I always want to just rest my head back down and fall back asleep. I thought napping was supposed to be rejuvenating, right? Is napping actually good for you after all?

Don’t be bummed! A recent study proves that naps can help improve learning. Alex Mecklinger from the Saarland Neuropsychology Unit conducted an experiment with 41 subjects. He had each of them memorize 90 words and 120 groups of words. Immediately after the memorization, the subjects had to recite as many of the words they could remember. Then, half of the subjects took a nap for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the rest watched a DVD in the categorized time period. Once 90 minutes had passed, all of the subjects had to recite all of the words they could remember for the second time. The results were outstanding. The participants who took a nap performed increasingly (more than 5x) better than those who watched the DVD. Further, the participants who napped also performed just as exceptionally the second time around as the first. 

The results of this experiment are consistent with the hypothesis that naps are indeed good for you. However, as with most things in life, you should take that with a grain of salt. Many rules and restrictions apply when attempting to take a beneficial nap. Naps can be beneficial to overall personal health and learning if they are under an hour; a thirty minute nap is ideal. Planning a time to nap and wake up can help your body prepare for it. A pre-determined nap time each day will lessen the time it takes to fall asleep at night. Feel free to view this video on how to take a productive nap.

Of course, excessive napping can be a sign of something much more than pulling an all-nighter. Exhaustion and the urge to sleep is on the symptom list of several different medical concerns. The conclusion that napping is neither harmful nor hurtful is in coercion with the hypothesis that naps are beneficial. In the experiment at hand, a quick nap is one of the most significant ways to rejuvenate your body.

Most college students would love nothing more than to lay in bed and sleep all day. Classes are rigorous. Schoolwork is time consuming. Extra curricular activities are fun yet depleting. Benefit yourself. Become a better learner. Take a nap.






11 thoughts on “Is Napping Bad?

  1. Meaghan Elizabeth Simone

    Love this topic as I am a firm believer in. I take maybe two 20 min naps a day and without it I don’t know what I would do. Your writing is well formatted and I like the use of reference from the things we have learned in class. There is also a lot of detailed and varied opinions, but you still made the questions nd answer obvious and known.

  2. lkr5215

    I love your topic! I actually do not nap but this does motivate me to try napping out. I always presumed it made it harder for someone to get up and do work and it shouldn’t be done in college but i have been corrected. I like how the blog flows. It is very informative and with also summarizing the sources used in a great way.

  3. Benjamin R Tuohey

    This blog is very interesting. I always have liked taking naps until after I wake up and just realized how much time I waisted. I feel that I should sleep at night and be awake during the day. I used to take naps all the time and I would sleep through and miss classes and then would stay up later and sleep in later, so it was just the domino effect from there. I also feel as if after I take naps I am more tired and find it harder to wake back up a second time for the day. All in all I think napping is bad.

  4. dff5115

    I often have that groggy feeling after a nap that was too long. I think that study with being able to retain more information is amazing, maybe i should start napping after class more. I was reading another blog post on here that said the ideal power nap to feel full of energy after waking up is 20 minutes. I think its interesting to see that different nap times can benefit you in different ways. One helping you with more energy and one helping you to retain more information

  5. Amanda Grace Thieu

    This post speaks to me on a personal level. In high school, I vowed that I would take as few naps as I could. I hated waking up disoriented, oily, and nasty. Given that I would sleep with my makeup on. Gross, I know. But now that I’m in college my world just seemed to change. I need to take naps in order to be a functional member of society. I would take as many naps as I could and no matter how much time I sleep or when I sleep I’m just ALWAYS tired. Last year in my social science class I learned that the best nap time was 20 minutes because it was before the period you fell into REM sleep. I wonder if that’s completely true.

  6. Emma Murphy

    As a freshman, I have definitely had to make some changes to my sleep schedule coming into college. I have been going to bed much later than I would at home. On top of going to bed late I wake up at different times everyday, so I don’t have a set sleeping pattern for everyday. Staying up later and having long breaks between my classes, I have become reliant on taking a nap to get me through the day. I usually nap for 20-30 minutes. This blog made me feel better about taking a nap almost everyday. I would feel bad about napping like I was being lazy or wasting my time, but now I can see that it actually could be benefiting me throughout the day. I did some more research and also came across this video from CBS where I learned further about the pros of taking a nap.

  7. Xander Roker

    this was a good read, I yawned just reading about it. In a psychology today article I read, they talked about how in one experiment, children with autism were much less likely to yawn when their peers did, which I thought was very interesting. As such, scientists hypothesized that it must be part of the brain, or a genetic variant that impacts autistic and schizophrenic children. While this would help us understand why yawning is contagious, it can also help us understand more about autism.
    Give it a read:

  8. Zachary Cope

    I loved reading this blog because napping has always been crucial to my day, so I was so glad to hear that it indeed has more pros than cons to one’s health. During high school, napping was always a part of my day, it became a routine. I’m the one who usually prefers to take long naps (usually an hour at the least), but one thing I’ve noticed is that longer naps tend to make me more tired when I wake up then shorter naps (lets say 15-30 minutes). These naps kind of suck because you want to sleep for so long after your boring and exhaustive day, but when you awake from these power naps, you feel rejuvenated and full of energy at least from my experiences. Here’s an interesting link that explains the benefits of power napping vs sleeping:

  9. Amanda Voirrey Rust

    I really appreciate this blog because I was always convinced that naps were terrible for your body. If I am tired after class, I always push myself to stay awake and just try to go to sleep early. Sometimes when I take naps, I feel like it negatively affects my sleeping patterns and I tend to get groggy and irritable. However, this might just be in my head. Also, most of the times when I do choose to nap it ends up being longer than 30 minutes. Maybe I shouldn’t be so against that “power nap” when I feel exhausted and worn out from the day. I know sleeping is very complex, and everyone’s bodies are different when it comes to it. This site explains sleep in more depth and how it works.
    I could definitely go for a nap right now!

  10. Allison Maria Magee

    I never felt the urge to nap until I came to college (I’m a freshman), and now I feel like I can never catch up on my sleep. I find it hard to take a nap in the middle of the day because I always feel like I should be doing something. But, if napping was easier for me to do, I know that I would be more successful in my academic studies. I tend to tell myself, “Don’t nap, just go to bed early.” But I find it harder and harder to get to bed earlier each night. My mom has always encouraged me to take more naps and it is interesting to see that it truly proves to help student’s in the long run.
    Here is another interesting link on this topic:

  11. Madison Danielle Starr

    I’m absolutely the same when it comes to having a lot to do when I should be asleep! This post made me rejoice when it proved that napping isn’t actually bad for you. I’ve been told for years that it messes with your sleep schedule. I actually even read an article not to long ago saying they had pros and cons. Here’s the link if you’d like to give it a read: . Even with the drawbacks, I’m still very pro nap. I always have way more energy, and tend to be more productive after one.

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