You should be napping

Josette Corazza

I have taken a nap almost every day since arriving on campus. It’s not that I have ample amounts of free time I am wasting on mid-day rests; with athletics, a full course load and work-study, I have to actively make space in a busy schedule to make this possible. On my list of objectives leading to a successful freshman year, getting in a daily nap takes one of the top spots.

It is common knowledge that college is a time when most students must face the reality that their sleep schedules will be severely impacted. Many students accept this realization without question, assuming that late nights in the library and fighting the urge to fall asleep in class will simply become the norm.

Despite this popular perspective, it is possible to take charge of your sleep schedule and get the most out of your waking hours. One of the best ways to recharge your body and mind is to take a brief mid-day nap. Even if you have only a 30-minute window of time in between classes or right before lunch, you can optimize this time to give yourself a nice break. Especially if it has become routine to get minimal amounts of sleep at night, catching up during the day can be extremely beneficial.

On the National Sleep Foundation’s website, it recommends a 20-30 minute nap for short-term alertness. This type of nap is beneficial as it provides a boost in alertness and performance and will not leave you feeling groggy or interfere with nighttime sleep. According to the same website, a study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34 percent and alertness by 100 percent. What could be better for a busy college student than a boost in attention and focus?

Over time, my body has come to expect a nap in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the day. Catching up on sleep during daylight hours enables me to make the most out of evening study sessions, as I am not hitting the peak of exhaustion that I became accustomed to in high school when mid-day naps were out of the question.

Because I have taken the time to refresh my body and mind, I can power through the evening much better. The result of my daily napping regimen has been an increased feeling of attentiveness and energy.

I would encourage every student to make time for a regular nap. Some people may think that naps just aren’t for them or that they do not have the time for them, but I recommend reevaluating these perspectives and giving naps a try.

If you give it a try, I’m sure you’ll quickly come to understand my enthusiastic appreciation for napping.