A student takes a nap in the warm spring air on central campus.

I never thought I would be this person.

In high school I was always busy, going from AP classes to cross country practice to hours of homework every day. I didn’t even get home until 6 or 7 p.m., let alone have time for a nap. So I assumed, in college, things would be much the same.

Well, I was wrong. Some time between the moment I tossed my cap and tassel into the sky and the first time I laid down on the (insanely comfortable) futon in my dorm room, all of my willpower to resist the temptation of sleep drained away.

Today marks the 13th day in a row I have taken an hour-long nap in the middle of the day. A few weeks ago, I set a timer for four minutes just so I could sleep for a little bit. Sometimes I sleep on my carpet so I don’t get too comfortable and snooze straight through my alarm.

Napping has become a part of my daily routine. And you know what? I am totally okay with it, because what some would call a “napping problem” is actually supported by science as a healthy habit.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, naps between 10 and 20 minutes can improve alertness and mood, while naps around 90 minutes can restore energy and improve creativity and memory. That’s not even to mention the psychological benefits of knowing I just have to make it past lunch before I can get some shut-eye again.

It’s true; napping is not for everyone. Dr. Sara Mednick of the University of California told Time magazine the most important thing to consider is why you’re taking one. Is it because you’re not getting enough sleep in the first place? If so, you should make that your priority.

Otherwise, according to Mednick, napping is usually a good thing, and for some people, it can have as many benefits as a full night of sleep. I know, for me, it makes waking up at 7 a.m. for class much easier to deal with. I get back from lunch, sleep for an hour and wake up with much more energy for the rest of the day.

So I will continue to nap daily, and you should too. Forget the negative stigma associated with napping and sleep on.

After all, it’s good for you.

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(2) comments

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