You got a lot of sh*t going on, but you know you could use a little more rest. “To nap or not to nap?” It is an age old debate, especially during days that drag a little extra. Indulge in your sleep. Tell yourself you earned it, even if you didn’t. A daily nap can and will benefit you in so many different ways.
1. Studies Show You Need More Sleep
Dr. Sara Mednick, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, says a nap is defined as daytime sleeping that lasts between fifteen and ninety minutes and can improve brain functions ranging from memory to focus and creativity. Her research also shows that for some people, naps are as restorative as a whole night of sleep. Seems like you have a new post-class hobby: napping.
2. You Probably Need to Catch Up on Sleep
We all love those long nights spent after days of procrastination. Even if you don’t procrastinate, sometimes your workload forces you to stay up. But let’s get real, it usually isn’t the homework that keeps you up. It’s the rabbit hole you fall into of YouTube videos, the long scrolls through Instagram and the ever-so-amusing online shopping. “On nights where I stay up too late and regret it the next day, I’m usually just f***ing around past 10pm, not being productive,” said Boston College sophomore Brenden Pollock.
3. It Gives You Some “You” Time
Long days of seeing the same faces in the same classes every day may get you into a solid routine, but it doesn’t give you much time for yourself. Take a nap. That way while you’re lying in bed you have some time to reflect on the day thus far, plan ahead and relax.
4. It Refreshes You
You tried coffee. You maybe even took a caffeine supplement. You’ve attempted a good night’s sleep, but nothing seems to be working. If you can relate, maybe a nap is the answer to your bad case of the sleepies during the day. “Sometimes I don’t take a nap because I feel like there are so many other things I should be doing, but when I chose to take a nap, I always get more productive afterwards,” said Boston College sophomore Gianna Vitale.
5. It Schedules the Rest of Your Day
By scheduling in a nap, you are kind of forced to schedule the rest of your day. You need to know what you’re doing before and after your nap. This makes the nap all the better: you have a little shortcut to planning your day out. Bringing a nap into your daily routine will definitely be one of the highlights of your day. Trust me, I can personally attest to this.
6. You Can Reward Yourself
Treat yo self. After a long day of classes and interaction with classmates, clubs and a job, it is easy for us as college students to forget to reward yourself for the efforts. Since ain’t nobody got the money to reward yourself by ordering off-campus food or binge online shopping, maybe a nap could be a worthy reward for all you do.
7. Napping Reduces Stress
According to a study done by Marc Y. Engelsma, a sleep specialist and researcher, a big aspect of how our bodies handle stress is based on how much sleep we get. College students, who tend to get less sleep than they actually need, are able to handle stressful and difficult situations much better by power napping. If the professionals say it’s true, maybe it is time to work that nap in today.
8. Napping is Enjoyable
Even if you’re not much of a sleeper, I’ve yet to meet a college student who resented the idea of a nap. If you can work a nap in, why not try? There is something special about changing out of your day clothes, putting on something comfy and curling up into bed. We all could use some peace, some quiet and a moment away from everything.
9. You Can Take Care of Yourself
Before I take a nap, I take a few minutes. I drink a big glass of water, do a little deep breathing, play some soft music or catch up on a podcast. My nap is awesome because I get to sleep, of course, but it is even better because it allows me to do things I enjoy that I forgot about during the bustle of the day. Before I worked a nap time in my daily life, I don’t think I drank more than a cup of water a day in general. Naptime can really contribute to some healthy and enjoyable habits.
10. You Can Feel Like a Kid Again
Okay, maybe nap time in college isn’t the exact same as nap time in pre-K or kindergarten. But it is strange to think that when we were kids, we fought with our parents, teachers and caregivers at nap time. We rebelled. How dare anyone take away time for activities? Now, we realize adulting is hard and we need a break from it at some point during the day. If only those scheduled nap times were more acceptable in adult world.