Before coming to college, I rarely took naps. Now they are sometimes essential throughout the week. Whether its following a big test, a long night out, or just a crappy nights sleep, I find myself needing a nap AT LEAST once a week. Now, of course this isn’t a great habit, I wanted to see the effects of the duration of my naps. Some days I nap for 30 minutes to an hour. While other times I nap for well over 2 hours. I guess this mostly depends on the day.
Last year as a freshman there was a sign about napping, which I found funny. Who needs information about napping? Whats the big deal? After looking into it some more I found some information on optimal nap duration. Each allotted duration of your nap can help or hinder a specific aspect with regards to your brain.
Picture found here.
For example according to this site; there are signifiant difference in the effects according to the duration of your naps. To overall reboot your energy, they say to take a power nap between 10-20 minutes. A 30 minute nap will leave you feeling groggy or cloudy, an additional 30 minutes of exhaustion following your nap will pass before you feel the benefits of your nap. When you nap for an hour studies show that it will aid in your memory to retain information; but this groggy feeling will also be prevalent following this one hour nap. During a 90 minute nap you will go though one sleep cycle. This will have the groggy feeling avoided completely.
According to this article…
There IS a science behind napping. Napping can be beneficial in the way that it helps you stay mentally sharp and overall live a healthy life. Now we know they can recharge your energy meter but how much can a nap really do for your brain.
While researching this topic I found so much different information regarding naps, It has been found that a 90 minute nap will improve learning all day. How? I did not understand how this could be possible.
This site reflects on a study done in attempts to prove this claim true. They took 39 young adults and broke them into two groups. Both groups performed rigorous educational tasks that were targeted to tire out the hippocampus. After this task, one group took a 90 minute nap where as the others stayed awake. Following the nap, all participants were then again asked to attempt vigorous learning tasks. The participants who remained awake become less successful than of those who did have the opportunity to nap.
The bottom line is naps seem to effect your brain and body in different ways, but overall it has been found that the hypothesis of napping for 90 minutes will increase your learning abilities has been accepted whereas the null hypothesis has been rejected. Or, this could very well be a false positive.