Naps are good for you!!! Say whaaaaaa


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         Are you tired of your parents getting aggravated at you for taking power naps between classes because they think you're wasting precious daylight when you could be doing something better with your life... Sure you could be studying for an exam, writing an essay, or going to the gym but taking a power nap during the day is doing much more than just giving an energy boost!
          Scientists are beginning to look more into the advantages of napping during the day. Most other mammals sleep multiple types a day while humans rest once a day for a longer period of time. Questions are arising whether or not humans sleep once a day because society has made us this way or if thats how we were meant to be. Whatever the answer it has become evident that most hum as aren't getting enough sleep daily. 
         Naps during the day aid in improvements in creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. Napping also helps to improve feeling of sleepiness and fatigue and our mood and feelings during the day. They have also been proved to be good for our heart, blood pressure, weight management, and stress.
        It's important to realize that scientist are arguing power naps are good for you not long naps in the middle of the day. A power nap lasts from about 10-30 minutes. Longer than this leaves a risk of "sleep inertia" which is the groggy feeling one gets after waking up after a longer nap. Napping should also take place between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, any later than 4:00pm and theres rise of having difficulty sleeping at night. 
        Many of us run to the HUB's Starbucks for a quick cup of joe and pray for a short line but we all know that lines gonna take forever. A 2008 study showed naps are better than getting that extra boost of caffeine, and as college students we should be saint every cent as it is. Naps can also do things coffee can't necessarily do like reduce stress or lower blood pressure. 
sleeping-student1.jpg
     
       So go ahead!! Go back to your dorm room in-between those mind-numbing classes and take a nap before cracking that book open, you'll probably be better off in the long run!

Check this video out for some cool input on power naps How to Power Nap   

8 Comments

Haha I love this article, mostly because I usually regret taking naps during the day but now I longer do! But of course I take longer naps than what the scientists recommend, I will not attempt to just stick to power naps. It makes that they are good for you because it is like recharging your body quickly and efficiently! Check out this article to see some more benefits to napping! http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/02/07/unleash-the-power-of-the-nap/

I loved reading this article because I really love naps, and always find it a necessity in my day. Having said that, I have also heard that naps can result in you feeling really tired all day, and ruin your daily performance. Several websites say that a 20 minute power nap is really the best because it helps you feel rejuvenated but doesn't throw off your REM cycle, aka rapid eye movement. I think that it is really interesting that while naps are super beneficial, if they are too long they could possibly harm your daily activity. The site below talks more about power naps if you are interested!

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/the-secret-and-surprising-power-of-naps

It is really interesting how humans act with different types of sleeping patterns. Everyone is different but I remember reading an article one time about a man who took 5-7 30 minute naps everyday instead of sleeping at night like most people. I looked on the internet for more sleeping exercises like these and found an article by highexistence">http://www.highexistence.com/alternate-sleep-cycles/”>highexistence that shows a wide range of sleep cycles people have tried. The Uberman Cycle consist of 30 minutes naps every 4 hours resulting in 6 naps each day. This sleeping cycle results in better moods, refreshed feelings and vivid dreams, although skipping nap session would screw your day up. Another sleep alternative is the Everyman Cycle which consists of a 3 hours nap and 3 20 minute naps and is extremely efficient in the way it is so flexible. Another sleep cycle that is interesting is the Dymaxion Cycle which is sleeping for 30 minutes every 6 hours and this is the most extreme of alternative sleep cycles. The regular sleep cycle of getting 8 hours of sleep a night is called monophasic cycle. I feel like in the real world with a regular job it might be hard to try some of these sleep cycles but in college with such a flexible schedule it may be plausible. So I agree naps are very good for you.

While I do enjoy an occasional afternoon nap, naps can also be harmful according to some studies.

The director of Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University says that even a short power nap can be detrimental to your night time sleep drive. A nap can become just another fragmented sleep episode. http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/sleep/is-napping-helpful-or-harmful-1

How do naps affect people with insomnia?

I read the urge to nap can also be a warning sign in some cases. The urge to nap might mean you have obstructive sleep apnea ( http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obstructive-sleep-apnea/DS00968 ).

In all, I think it's fair to say that napping might work well for some people, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Shanna,

I decided to read up on this subject since I always feel lethargic and yet so unproductive when I nap. Turns out, power naps are really good for people's brain, according to this article. The National Sleep Foundation states, "Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%." With the benefits, they also list some negative effects, which I found very surprising as well. They wrote, "One study has indicated that napping is associated with increased risk of heart failure in people already at risk."

Hopefully I'm not at risk of heart failure because I do enjoy napping!

This is really interesting. My problem is that I always nap but for hours at a time so I'm not tired at night. They key to napping for short-term alertness is a 20-30 minute nap. A study at NASA found that naps improve performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. Also, if you sleep too much, you actually feel more tired! http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/napping

I used to never nap before college, and now I do all the time... That is really interesting though that "sleep inertia" occurs after 30 minutes, because I always say that I feel a lot better after a 15 minute nap than I do after 1 1/2 hour nap. I do feel guilty sometimes for napping, or feel lazy and unproductive, but I really do feel like a new person after them and I end up being able to accomplish more after a nap. I always wondered what the level before sleeping too long during the night though. I always thought it was just me thinking that oversleeping can make you more tired. I feel like a good night sleep is 8-9 hours, but any longer than that, I wake up exhausted. I never thought to research why, so I really enjoyed this blog post. This article explains why oversleeping can make you tired! http://mariexotoni.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Oversleeping-Makes-Your-More-Tired

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