Unlike students in high school, college students are not in class for eight hours straight (or at least I hope you’re not), which
gives us the benefit of taking naps in between classes, jobs, or extracurricular activities. College students have a hard enough time getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, which is why we tend to rely on overly-caffeinated coffee and energy drinks to help us power through our jam-packed days and cram-session nights. These highly caffeinated drinks may seem like a good energy boost at the time, but they usually end up making you crash later on. So what’s the alternative? Naps are the new coffee. A Smart Girl should never underestimate the power of a quick 20-minute power nap, which can be the equivalent of the caffeine boost received from a Starbucks coffee!
The benefits of short, quick naps during the day are especially advantageous for college students who don’t get much sleep, are constantly rushing to get from one activity to the next, and have stress levels through the roof. Losing sleep can slow down your memory, which we all know is not good for college students. Naps help improve short-term memory, which is why they’re called power naps! If you’re feeling slow and sluggish in the afternoon, schedule a 20-30 minute nap in between classes or during your cram session. Because naps are also relaxing and natural stress curers, they will definitely improve your mood and increase your productivity. Waking up from a nap gives you new energy and helps you stay more focused and productive. Instead of crashing later like you would after drinking coffee, this quick nap will leave you alert and refreshed for the rest of your day.
If you want to ensure that you get a quality nap, follow these tips:
- Find a comfy but not too comfy place to nap. I would suggest either a couch or large chair. Your bed can get too comfy, and you might not want to get up after.
- Don’t change into your pajamas – you’re only napping for 20 minutes!
- Listen to some quiet music if it helps you sleep.
- Turn off the lights and any other distractions (TV, phone, etc.)
- Don’t forget to set your alarm! If you nap for too long, you risk not being able to fall asleep at night and messing up your sleep schedule.
- Try to nap at the same time every day as it helps keep you on schedule and makes it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up.
– Kristen McNeill