I love to nap. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without napping. I nap between classes, after classes, before starting my homework, when I’m too tired to do my homework, any time. Research has shown that naps have numerous benefits, such as reducing drowsiness, restoring alertness, improving cognitive performance, decreasing errors, and enhancing moods.
First of all, there are certain preparations you should make. Find an ideal time—not too close to bedtime but not too early that you aren’t tired. Pick a place that is comfortable, like a couch, in a restful place that is quiet and dark. Use a pillow. Use a blanket. Use calming noises. Whatever it takes. Last of all, keep it short. A short nap goes a long way, especially if you have a ton of studying to do!
There are different lengths of nap-time that I find are particularly useful for the perpetually- exhausted college student. Naps that last a few seconds to a few minutes are great for getting a little shut eye and can help to immediately snap you back into alertness. Naps from 10 to 20 minutes boost alertness and performance without the typical post-nap grogginess. A nap about 60 minutes in length can help in cognitive processing—remembering facts, places, and people. A 90-minute nap, lastly, will put you through about an entire REM sleep cycle, which helps in emotional and procedural memory.
If you’re one of those people who can’t fall asleep quickly and can’t nap very well, never fear! The rest and relaxation associated with napping is also very beneficial.
During midterms season, make sure you all get enough sleep. Trust me, naps are your friends!