Since starting classes I have found that I nap almost everyday. I come home from my early morning classes and jump right back into be and wake up just before my afternoon classes. I have found that napping seems to be a staple of the college student life and many people I’ve met here at Penn State indulge in a nap quite frequently. Also, it seems that most animals nap many times throughout the day, humans being the odd ones out. My question is, is napping good for us? If so how much is too much? And what are the different benefits of napping?
Napping is my favorite part of my day and I spend roughly three hours in and out of sleep during my scheduled napping time, and although on and off sleep isn’t too restful and probably isn’t the healthiest way to nap I still find it beneficial. According to the National Sleep Foundation, shorter naps through out the day are good for you. They increase performance abilities and give you the energy boost to continue throughout your day. NASA did an experiment where it allowed astronauts and military pilots to nap for 40 minutes and both their alertness and performance levels were greatly improved. Also, napping brings piece of mind and allows for relaxation and a break from the daily stresses that life throws upon us. If you take a good restful nap it can properly prepare you to face the rest of your day refreshed and awake.
Although, as with any topic there are also some negative sides to taking a nap. It has been found that longer naps can lead to drowsiness and some disorientation, something I can definitely attest to. When you nap for longer you force yourself to awaken during a deeper sleep which can cause this inertia. Also, Sleeping for long periods during the day can interrupt your regular sleep schedule and make sleeping at night, and sleeping well, more difficult.
Personally I seem to experience the negative sides of napping regardless of whether I actually nap, and the benefits far outweigh them. Honestly, the idea that I can come home and nap is the only thing that gets me up to those 8:00am classes every morning. The escape provided by a nap is something I love and plan to continue, especially now that I know of its benefits.