Naps can be lifesavers. Early classes, long days at work, and late night study sessions can eat into those eight hours of rest so sweetly recommended by doctors who forget that it’s nearly impossible to get anything done if one-third of the day is spent sleeping. Red Bulls and pumpkin spice lattes can mask your exhaustion for a few hours, but once that caffeine crash hits, you may need to think of an alternative solution to get you through the day.
This is where naps come in handy. If done properly, a quick nap can give you the energy needed to pull an all-nighter at Thompson the night before your midterm. Be careful though, because too long of a nap too late in the day may leave you more tired than you were when you laid your head on that pillow.
So how do you know when is the right time to get your nap on? And for how long? A few tips:
- Short naps go a long way. According to the National Sleep Foundation (yes it’s a real thing), a 20-30 minute nap improves short-term alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy.
- Campus is nap friendly. Almost every building on campus has chairs and couches comfier than the average college students’ beds. If you have a long day of studying ahead and can’t seem to keep your eyes open, take a quick snooze in the Ohio Union. It may not be ideal, but it can be quicker and more convenient than walking home.
- Be consistent. For veteran nappers like myself who take several every week, try and keep a consistent schedule. This is especially useful for students who wake up early and go to bed late. A midday nap can be the key to a day without drowsiness if you are running on 4-5 hours of sleep.
- Wake up when you’re supposed to! Just like sleeping through your first class, over-napping can throw off your whole day. Have you ever told yourself you were going to take a catnap and wake up 2 hours later? It not only ruins your schedule, but chances are you’ll feel groggier than you would have with only a half hour snooze. Make sure you set an alarm and throw it across the room if you have to. That way, you have no choice but to get out of bed in order to turn it off.
Naps can make or break any college student’s day. Keep these helpful tips in mind and you just might make it through your o-chem exam in one piece. Who knows, you could even cut your caffeine budget in half.