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The Art of Napping

By: Andy Chen

After staying up late to do homework or study for an upcoming test, a nap can be perfect for helping students kick back into high gear. A quick nap can replenish energy, boost students’ moods, and decrease stress, among other advantages.

However, napping should never be excessive; according to Sleep.org, a 20 to 30-minute nap, known as a stage-2 nap, is best for a quick boost inattentiveness and motor control, while napping for 60 to 90 minutes helps induce Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which creates connections within the brain that may prove vital to solving creative problems. Any length between 30 to 60 minutes or greater than 90 minutes have their purposes, but students are likely to wake up groggy afterward — it’s possible that students even feel less focused than before they slept.

Additionally, experts claim that the best time to nap is anywhere from 1 to 3 p.m., preferably after students have eaten lunch. During this period, blood sugar and energy begin to dip, making this the best timeframe to decrease tension and stress. Studies have shown that humans’ internal rhythms are often programmed to make humans feel sleepy around 1 to 3 p.m., primarily for this reason.

The best time to nap varies for everyone, but one general way to tell is through when students wake up; if you usually wake up at 7 a.m., an optimal nap would be at 2 p.m., while a 6 a.m. waking time would lead to an optimal 1 p.m. nap time like a 7 hour gap is the most optimal spacing between waking up and napping

Napping can be key to keeping yourself focused, productive, or energized. The next time you go napping, keep in mind these important tips. Sleep tight!

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