The Power of Napping

Did you know that humans are one of the only animals that tend to get all of their sleep at once? 7 Sleepiest Animals on Earth. Cats, pigs, squirrels, cheetahs, rats, birds,lions, hamsters, and many more oftentimes take multiple naps throughout the day. But, what is the reasoning behind this? Some of them do it so that they are not vulnerable to their predators for a long period of time. But, others do it so that they are more energized and productive in activities. Once squirrels are awake they are off to the races to get nuts. When lions are up(mainly females) they head out to go hunting for the pride. Even cavemen took naps in order to not be too vulnerable to enemies and to have the energy to go back out to hunt.Did you know that this same reenergizing technique can work for present day humans, too? 
As the day stretches on, humans get more and more tired, therefore, less and less productive. You are much better off taking a nap, reenergizing, and then getting back to work being far more productive. I will explain the benefits of napping in a little. In order to understand why you should nap, you need to know the five stages of sleep; 1,2,3,4, and REM.Benefits of Napping

Stage 1 of sleep lasts 2-5 minutes. It is where your body starts to relax and you drift off. Stage 2 is where you spend half of your sleep. Your senses are revamped and stamina, as well as, energy are increased. Stage 3 and 4 are also called Slow Wave Sleep. This is where tissue is repaired, stress is decreased, and recent information is stored. Waking up from a nap during this period often leaves you groggy and tired. Finally, there is REM. Short term memory is transformed into long term and creativity is increased because ideas are fused together. 

Now back to naps. Say you are planning on studying all night for a test and part of the way through you start to doze off. A better solution than drinking a bunch of Starbucks DoubleShots is to take a 20-25 minute nap and then get back to work. You typically don't want to take a nap longer than that unless it is an hour and half because then you will be waking up in Slow Wave Sleep and you will find yourself groggy. 

Studies have shown that it is best to take an hour and a half nap between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. Why nap you ask? Naps help in multiple ways such as storing memory, raising senses, increasing creativity, putting you in a better mood, and most importantly, giving you more energy to be more productive. So take a nap, you won't regret it.


In high school I napped daily. I woke up earlier and actually had time to do so. One thing I hated, however, was how tired I felt as soon as I woke up. I felt like I could sleep the rest of the night. I gave up my daily nap because I hated this feeling of tiredness. Apparently, as can be seen in your article, I was napping for the wrong amount of time. I could never sleep for just 20-25 minutes and would always be awaken around an hour into my nap, which is exactly why I felt so groggy. The national sleep foundation has a whole article on napping, which even includes different types of naps. Who knew there was more than one type? If you're interested, read up on what they have to say.

Often, if I do not get enough sleep, I get very bad headaches. Even more often, a nap cannot repair the headache. I'll take pain relievers but really the best thing that helps me get rid of a headache is a good night's sleep. I will never understand why my friends cram all of their studying into the night before a big test. If I stay up too late studying, I will most likely forget what I went over. ...This article has some interesting facts about why eight hours of sleep is the perfect amount. Sleep is necessary to be healthy and happy; not just for me, but for the average person.

I took naps as soon as I got home from school and before practices/games and like Marisa said above, I would be awaken sometime during the first hour making me feel groggy. I didn't realize the best times for a nap was during 1-3 p.m. Unfortunately I was in school during that time but it's good to know now! I actually found that if I studied and then took a nap I would remember the work better. Here is a website that has explanations as to why this happens and it also touches base on the hippocampus, which we just took a pop quiz about the experimentation on hamsters today.

I love taking naps, but here at Penn state I find myself never having time to. Its very frustrating to me because I am constantly sleepy. Even when I have the opportunity to nap most of the time I cannot because my mind will NOT shut off. Its like I am constantly stressed out about something and always have something on my mind, I am one of those people that are always thinking about what they have to do next rather than focusing on what is happening (napping). I went to Italy this summer and I noticed that around 2 people go home and relax. They close stores for about an hour or two just to get a little rest or break in. I think this is why people are more content. Sleep is key to making you feel good and productive throughout the day. So I agree we should all nap!

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