The rights and wrongs of napping


| 10 Comments
    Living at college and on the sorority floor, it's safe to say my sleep schedule is pretty out of whack. I've never been a morning person, and in high school naps were a regular part of my schedule. This semester, some of the courses I need for my major are only available in the morning, which has results in naps becoming a part of my everyday life once again. Are naps a good thing? Do they contribute to the fact I can't seem to fall asleep before 3 AM most nights? I've heard both answers to this question before- i.e. yes, they are good for you because everyone needs sleep to function... and I've heard that they are not good for you because they disrupt your "natural" sleep patterns and schedule. Regardless of what I've heard or my personal love and reliance on naps, I figured it was a good idea to find some research to back up an answer.

    Here is a research study which includes a strong sample size of over 1,000 people who were to record their sleep patterns in hopes of finding an association between sleep (either long or short) and mortality. When it comes to napping however, the study stated that "although the interaction of sleep duration and napping was statistically significant in the unadjusted and partially adjusted models, the interaction term was not significant in the fully adjusted model taking into consideration confounding by health status variables, including comorbidity, medications, and depression." It seems that there are many third variables to consider when analyzing napping and mortality, but overall, napping has many benefits.

    An article that referenced the studies previously discussed entitled "Why you should take a 10-minute nap everyday," it showed research that stated 10-minute naps improve productivity of employees. Power naps really are powerful, but they should also be monitored. The article also stated that even a nap as long as 30 minutes can lead to sleep inertia, meaning you become groggy and it may have negative effects on your efficiency. For me, a nap isn't a nap unless it's at least an hour long, and I definitely experience the groggy feeling when I wake up. In addition to the side effects of longer naps, if you nap to late in the day, the article also referenced the possibility of the nap interfering with our sleep rhythms.

    It seems like I found the answer I already had an idea of, naps are a good thing as long as you don't over-do it. Timing matters and so does the duration of your nap. They have positive effects by reducing our daytime sleepiness, but can indeed alter our schedules and cause the cycle of daytime sleepiness to keep reoccurring. While researching this topic, I discovered many interesting articles and I wanted to share this product- if you wanna take that 10-minute power nap I previously talked about- which are good for you!- think about investing in this ostrich pillow. It helps you sleep wherever and whenever, since power naps have significant positive effects.
 
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10 Comments

I always take a 10-15 minute nap... It always makes me feel better but I can never nap anymore than that because then I feel groggy. This video from webmd is about sleeping disorders http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/video/breus-groggy-nap .... I wonder if anyone else has problems with sleeping like i do? I can't nap too long or I wont sleep at night

I can definitely relate to you on napping. Almost every day last year, I would take naps, whether it was in between my morning and afternoon classes or in the evening. It was like no matter how much I slept, I was always still tired. With our schedules so busy being college students, it’s hard to get a proper amount of sleep every night. While I do also sometimes feel groggy after waking up from a nap, I especially get groggy in the mid-afternoon while in class. Maybe it is because I go to bed pretty late. On the other hand, according to the Harvard Medical School, “It’s common to have a little “hump” of midafternoon sleepiness, something that a nap can smooth out nicely.” New research also suggests that napping during the daytime can make-up for inadequate sleeping at night. So yes, all those weekends where you go to bed at 4 AM and wake up a few hours later; you can regain give your body back that missed sleep. Many people turn to energy drinks to get them through the day. But energy drinks can become addictive because they are filled with caffeine. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, anxiety and insomnia. HowStuffWorks warns that caffeine is diuretic meaning “it causes the kidneys to remove extra fluid into the urine, also according to HowStuffWorks. This takes away the fluids in your body, which can make you dehydrated. Not only are energy drinks unhealthy, they even taste like chemicals. I think I will stick with napping!

I can definitely relate to you on napping. Almost every day last year, I would take naps, whether it was in between my morning and afternoon classes or in the evening. It was like no matter how much I slept, I was always still tired. With our schedules so busy being college students, it’s hard to get a proper amount of sleep every night. While I do also sometimes feel groggy after waking up from a nap, I especially get groggy in the mid-afternoon while in class. Maybe it is because I go to bed pretty late. On the other hand, according to the Harvard Medical School, “It’s common to have a little “hump” of midafternoon sleepiness, something that a nap can smooth out nicely.” New research also suggests that napping during the daytime can make-up for inadequate sleeping at night. So yes, all those weekends where you go to bed at 4 AM and wake up a few hours later; you can regain give your body back that missed sleep. Many people turn to energy drinks to get them through the day. But energy drinks can become addictive because they are filled with caffeine. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, anxiety and insomnia. HowStuffWorks warns that caffeine is diuretic meaning “it causes the kidneys to remove extra fluid into the urine, also according to HowStuffWorks. This takes away the fluids in your body, which can make you dehydrated. Not only are energy drinks unhealthy, they even taste like chemicals. I think I will stick with napping!

As college students we can all account for the naps that we take, and for all of us it is definitely a good thing. But, how much of a good thing is it before it turns out to be a bad thing. Power naps are said to be good be do they give you any sort of frequency rate? Personally I have been known to take a power nap up to 3 or 4 times a day and be fully functional until around 4 in the morning. There has to be some type of limit to take as not to disturb your sleep cycle completely or even certain times of the day. I found that power naps have more details disclosed to them such as not getting under the covers and napping too long after lunch. As for the amounts I found that a person should not give in to their constant insomnia a nap a day is good enough too many and it will all go downhill.
http://www.manageyourlifenow.com/15-proven-tips-for-the-perfect-power-nap/

Is it just me or did the pillow really not catch anyone else's attention? No matter how desperate, no one needs a pillow like that to take a nap! I myself have mastered the ten minute nap approach. The key is to lay down for ten minutes first, watch TV or scroll through the twitter newsfeed real quick. If you are truly ready for a nap, you'll find your eyes drooping as you get to the end of your twitter feed. Here's when you quickly set the alarm on your phone for roughly twelve minutes, giving yourself two minutes to fall into a good sleeping state. By the time your alarm goes off, you won't have to fight the urge to snooze, rather you'll be ready to get a move on with your day. Here are some other good tips how to effectively and efficient nap... http://longevity.about.com/od/sleep/a/napping_tips.htm

I have always seen the value in naps. I kick myself for ever thinking that I didn't want a nap when I was younger, when there are now days that I would kill for one. However, my problem is a lot of the time I will nap to an excessive amount. I know there is research saying that taking a 20 minute or less nap is beneficial, and taking a 3 hour nap can make you groggy and mess up your sleeping patterns, but is it potentially harmful in other aspects as well? Is it effecting me in ways that I don't realize, or won't realize? Will it have any long term effects? I hope the answers to these questions are no, but for me it's either no nap or sleep for half the day - neither of which are prime choices for me.

My grandmother once told me, "closing your eyes and laying down peacefully for 5 minutes is more effective from sleeping for one hour." Of course, she was referring to daytime naps. From experience, I could say that long naps are not a good thing. I used to nap for two hours, I felt so horrible when I woke up, even more fatigued then when I went to sleep. I cut it down to one hour, but once again, the same negative effect happened. I cut it down to 30 minutes; it had gotten better, but still, I don't feel that well. I tried taking short naps from 5 to 15 minutes, and the results are WOW! It is almost unbelievable! I concluded, that "naps" are more effective when you lay down and close your eyes from a short time. You do not even have to fall asleep! And you will wake up feeling better than sleeping/napping for an hour. And as you mentioned, that is what is called the power nap. Here is an Article that gives tips on how to use a power nap most effectively.

This is just all too relatable to my life at the moment. I haven't gotten a full night's rest since Friday night, and I've never in my life experienced sleeping problems until now. I've never been a napper, but this week has me seriously considering it!

I've been debating whether or not a short nap would better or worsen my problem.

An article on The National Sleep Foundation website shares that it is natural for mammalian species to nap throughout the day, and humans are one of the only species that divide their day into one for sleep and one for awake time -- which makes humans a naturally sleep-deprived species. Even other human cultures see napping as a ritual part of the day, so living in the United States we're living naturally sleep deprived lives.This article made me feel better about napping, as well as the article you posted above "Why You Should Take a 10 Minute Nap Everyday".

This is just all too relatable to my life at the moment. I haven't gotten a full night's rest since Friday night, and I've never in my life experienced sleeping problems until now. I've never been a napper, but this week has me seriously considering it!

I've been debating whether or not a short nap would better or worsen my problem.

An article on The National Sleep Foundation website shares that it is natural for mammalian species to nap throughout the day, and humans are one of the only species that divide their day into one for sleep and one for awake time -- which makes humans a naturally sleep-deprived species. Even other human cultures see napping as a ritual part of the day, so living in the United States we're living naturally sleep deprived lives.The article also provides information on the three types of napping (emergency, habitual, and planned), tips for successful napping, and more benefits of napping.

This article made me feel better about napping, as well as the article you posted above "Why You Should Take a 10 Minute Nap Everyday".

SORRY i posted two comments but the one with more writing didn't post the first time.

15 minute nap theory makes me curious as to how this affects insomniacs. Does the fact that 15 minutes gives you more energy than 2 hours mean that insomniacs tend to have more energy than average Joe who needs 8 hours? By definition of insomnia, it is having trouble falling or staying asleep, but what if we can cure the exhaustion caused by insomnia with quick burst of sleep throughout the day or night? Has it been tried?

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