Now I don’t know about you, but speaking from personal experience, I take a nap almost every day. These range from 20 minutes to a couple hours. I have never regret this naps, although some are quickly to look down on nappers. New studies prove however, that naps could be good for ones health. According to an online college blog there are numerous reasons why college students and anyone for that matter should nap! Lets break down the reasons.
The first reason is that napping could potentially make you smarter, or at least help you improve you memory to remember more facts. A study done in California split 39 students into two groups. Their task was to match faces with names. At 2:00 half of the students took a 90 minute nap. At 6:00 when they were asked to remember which names went with which names, the students who napped remembered more than the students who didn’t. The science behind this is the napping clears one’s short term memory in the Hippocampus, making storage for more.
So now that we know that naps are good for you, how long is the most beneficial nap? The Boston Globe explains what each interval of sleep does to the brain. 20 minute naps, or as other some may call a “catnap” will just awake and alert an individual. In fact, because coffee takes around 30 minutes to kick in, many suggest drinking a cup before a quick cat nap, so you can wake up as energized as ever. More intense naps that can range anywhere from 90 minutes to a few hours can usually take one through a whole sleep cycle, which will greatly improve memory. An interesting fact though is that even if you can’t actually fall asleep, laying down for 20 minutes or even up to an hour will relax you and release an immense amount of stress.
For all those freshman out there, heres some advice: to avoid that freshman 15 either get more sleep or take more naps. The American Thoracic Society International Conference concluded that individuals weigh less when there receive more than five hours a sleep and in reverse individuals who receive less than five hours of sleep gain more weight easily. Some scientific reasons behind this are that not sleeping interferes with the carbohydrate cycle and therefore messes up fat storage. Less sleep also decreases leptin levels, which will cause your body to feel the need for more energy. Lastly, not enough sleep can affect proteins that deal with muscle and fat proportions. Therefore more sleep equals less weight.
So the next time you’re feeling tired after your 9 am, don’t let anyone tell you napping is a bad idea. That extra 30 minutes of sleep will help you progress so much further in the day, with more alertness and a better learning capacity. While of course, the obvious healthier option is to just get a good long night of sleep. However, being a fellow college student, I know that is nearly impossible, but now you know that not only is a nap acceptable, it is also another healthy alternative.