By: Joshua Carll
We are so involved these days with work and school and some of us being parents, that we neglect ourselves the majority of the time. We run ourselves ragged without stopping to rest. Because of this, we might not always have the time to sleep those recommended eight hours and sleep is so important to our bodies because without it, we would not have the energy to function properly.
This is why napping is so important. According to the Sleep Foundation, “a short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep”.
Napping is healthy because it restores your alertness and mind while also improving performance of tasks both mentally and physically. Also, “a 10-minute nap produced the most benefit in terms of reduced sleepiness and improved cognitive performance. A nap lasting 30 minutes or longer is more likely to be accompanied by… grogginess,” the Sleep Foundation reports.
Now, there are many factors to napping and how you will feel afterwards. How long did you sleep for the night before? Where are you taking your nap? All of these factors can play a part in how you feel afterwards. One great place to take a nap is in your car. All you need is a pillow, a blanket, and an alarm. I always keep a blanket and pillow in my car because you can even use the blanket for a picnic or if it gets cold. Set your phone alarm for 10-20 minutes and you can relax in your reclined chair or sprawl out in your backseat.
People were interviewed ranging from ages 16 to 36 and what I have discovered people who slept an average of eight hours of sleep, did not take naps throughout the day and they felt fine, but those who slept less than eight hours, felt tired during their day. About 75% of the people who did not get the adequate amount of sleep, refuse to take naps because they felt they were too busy, but after hearing that a good nap can take up to 20 minutes, some considered napping for the future.
Everybody is busy. Being a college student is hectic. Between studying, homework, jobs, and some of us being parents, it seems like the odds are against us and we have no time for anything. You can easily take a 10-20 minute break, because what good are you if you are exhausted to the point where you cannot function? For all the stress you go through, you deserve this. This nap is like a mini vacation for not only the body, but also the mind.
Just because you can take a nap during the day, does not mean you should forget about sleeping the recommended hours every night. Naps should be taken when needed and not every day.