Naps: Not Just for Toddlers
Want to increase your ability to learn and remember what you learned? Then grab a pillow and find somewhere comfy, because you need a nap.
Multiple studies have proven the benefits of taking a mid-afternoon nap, especially in the areas of learning, focus, and memory. Researchers with Berkeley found taking an hour-long nap during the day can dramatically increase the ability to learn and remember.
A nap provides an opportunity for your brain to reboot; your short term memory is cleared out, and the brain is prepared to take on new information. Slipping a nap between morning and afternoon classes is a good way to help you do better in both.
You may have a difficult time convincing others that napping is the way to go. In the United States, naps are looked at as a luxury that most can’t afford, a sign of laziness, or something only small children need. Elsewhere in the world, naps are regarded as an important part of the day.
Companies like Google and Apple provide time to employees for naps, and I don’t think anyone would accuse them of being lazy. In fact, studies have proven short naps (15-20 minutes) can improve awareness and productivity.
The next time you’re stuck on a project or homework assignment, try getting a few minutes of shut-eye. You’ll likely wake up more alert and refocused on the task at hand.
A ten to twenty minute nap is ideal if you’re looking for a quick fix to refresh your mind and get a boost in energy. Sleeping for thirty minutes may leave you feeling groggy, since it interrupts the sleep cycle.
Snoozing for an hour will also create some grogginess, but has been shown to boost memory. Any nap longer than that should be reserved for those who don’t get enough sleep at night. A full ninety minute nap will be a complete sleep cycle, and may improve creativity.
Napping may not be thought of as a key part of a successful student’s day, but maybe it should. With all the benefits of naptime, it seems like the ideal solution for a student looking to recharge. Just remember napping in class will probably do more harm than good!
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