Skip to content

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting College: Part III- The Nap

August 16, 2010

The Nap is Key In high school, if some one ever suggested for me to take a midday snooze (not counting in class), I would have laughed in their face. “What is this, kindergarten?” Little did I know that Naps are God’s gift to not only the toddler, but the college student as well. As stated earlier, college is not some 8AM-3PM gig. You will maintain the oddest hours of your life and have never felt so tired. I didn’t realize the power of the nap until I took my first one. After staying up all night cramming for my 8AM exam, I was dog tired and barking at anyone that came in

Napping is not just for kindergarten anymore!

my personal bubble. Knowing that this outwardly rudeness meant that I was inwardly exhausted, my best friend told me to take a little cat nap. I refused to sleep, knowing there was a million things that had to be done by my 12 PM class, but agreed to lay in my bed and watch tv. Well, my body more than obliged and when I awoke I felt like a new women. Scientists have proven that naps are like food for the brain, just 26 minutes can boost performance by as much as 34 percent! It helps memory processing, alertness, and learning new skills. This bliss, however, can only be obtained if you follow these strict rules:

  • Nap in a dark place. Since it is light out, try to shut all the blinds or wear an eye mask. This is essential because you are more likely to fall asleep faster without the blaring sun on your drawn eyes.
  • Don’t Nap too late in the day. Assuming the average college student goes to bed around midnight, try not to nap after 7pm. This will just mess up your sleeping schedule for the night which makes you groggy the next day, and it is just a downward spiral from there. This changes when it comes to a nap between Saturday’s daytime activities and Saturday’s nighttime activities. For that, I would say do not sleep past 9 or you mine as well call it a night.
  • Wear the Earplugs. With the noisiness of living in a dorm and a differing class schedule then my roommate, earplugs were my best friend freshman year. We had many joyous naps together, and I credit a lot of my sleep towards them.
  • Don’t mess with sleep cycles. In psychology I was always confused by REM sleep patterns, however I did take away one thing. It is important to stay in-tune with the REM cycles. This means that you have two options when taking a nap.
    • Nap 15-20 Minutes- the “power nap” is a quick option that will wake you feeling refreshed and ready to go.  Even this little window frame can give you the refuel you need to finish your day strong
    • Nap 90 Minutes- Studies have shown that a 90 minute nap is like hitting the “reset” button. When you are super tired and need to sleep for big time, sleep 90 minutes. This is the typical time frame for a full REM sleep cycle, which means if you wake up after 20 minutes and before 90 minutes, you will feel like you are seeing through a film of haze and your body is a sack of potatoes the rest of the day.

By following these simple rules, implementing a daily nap into your schedule will make all the difference in your college experience. Need more tips and advice on naps? Check out this site

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: