The Benefits of Napping
If you’re anything like me, napping is your guilty pleasure. Especially as a college student it’s quite common to have a wacky sleep schedule due to papers and assignments, and probably mostly because of procrastination. Whether it’s between classes or before tackling my hours of homework, I have always found that I need a solid power nap before conquering my to-do list. I have always believed that my reliance on naps was a vice; however, after some research, I have found some very interesting benefits of napping:
ASAPScience released “The Scientific Power of Naps” on their YouTube channel back in 2012. The video is only 2 minutes, but discusses why it is sometimes beneficial to stop fighting our urges to sleep, because in fact, power naps can often have a really positive effect on our brains and bodies. The video discusses the main stages of sleep: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM for short). The video then goes further, explaining that by sleeping 10-30 minutes, you’ll reach Stages 1 and 2. By napping for just 30 minutes could in turn help you become more productive, improve memory and creativeness, and the obvious, relieve your tiredness! If you decide to nap longer than 30 minutes, you may experience sleep inertia, essentially meaning you probably won’t feel relieved and awake, but instead long for more sleep.
Watch the video here:
The general consensus that I’ve found is there are few qualms with napping, despite my initial thoughts. WebMD supports napping as well, probably because it can help with stress and heart disease. Jennifer Soong, throws out a couple helpful tips when napping:
- It may be beneficial to create a “nap schedule” rather than just randomly resting when you get tired. Write it down in your planner!
- Similar to ASAPScience, keep it around 30 minutes! Sleep inertia is your enemy if you’re trying to be post-nap productive.
- Ensure your area is a dark, calm setting. You don’t want to be tossing and turning because it’s bright!
Sleep.org graciously enlightened me on some companies that have nap rooms in their offices. Some of these companies are Ben and Jerry’s, Zappos, Nike, Huffington Post NYC, Google, and even NASA. Hello, future employers! Sign me up!