Throughout college, we often find ourselves facing nights of meetings + homework after finishing a long day of classes. Running around, balancing those obligations with a social life + *me time* can leave us feeling like we’re one blink away from falling asleep standing up.
When we’re constantly in *go-getter mode*, taking time to nap may feel like a waste of our valuable time — we get it, but just hear us out! Instead of viewing a nap as a loss, look at it like an investment in maximizing your time. Our bodies need a proper amount of sleep to ensure that we function properly. Sure, a nap may be *non-traditional* compared your normal recommended 6-8 hours each night, but being a regular napper has its perks.
1] IMPROVES AWARENESS + MENTAL FUNCTIONING
According to a study by NASA, a 40-minute nap can dramatically increase your alertness + overall cognitive functioning. This helps boost your creativity + ability to process // store information, so instead of struggling to keep up with notes + what your professor is saying, you can actually *understand* what they’re teaching.
2] HELPS LESSEN STRESS
When you’re tired, it’s easy to let that crankiness feed into your other stressors + make everything seem much harder to handle than it actually is. A well-rested mind is often clearer + more productive, which helps you manage your life better + prevents stress from getting the best of you. This helps reduce stress-induced anxiety + allows you to find joy in tasks or activities that you may not be able to enjoy when you’re feeling super stressed.
3] WORKS BETTER THAN CAFFEINE
Say what?! Rather than trying to ride out your day + extend your internal battery life with coffee after coffee after coffee [we’re guilty ; )], try taking a few minutes to close your eyes + reboot instead. A study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that napping was most effective in conquering the mid-afternoon slump. So while we’re always up for a good #reCHAARG, you may find that your pillow is more helpful than the iced latte [++ you don’t have to fight the caffeine burn out!].
4] ADDS A BOOST TO YOUR WORKOUT
Along with improving your cognitive functioning, efficient naps help increase your stamina so you can go into a workout later in the day strong + #inCHAARG, rather than sluggishly dragging yourself through it.
5] RESPONDS TO YOUR BODY’S NATURAL RHYTHMS
Our bodies are naturally programmed to be at our *sleepiest* twice a day [usually around 1-3 a.m. + 1-3 p.m], but because of the 9-5 grind, you’re probably only sleeping during one of those times [siesta cultures have the right idea ; )]. Finding time to nap when you’re feeling the most sluggish isn’t a waste of your time, ++ it doesn’t make you lazy — it’s about listening to your body + responding to its needs.
Napping doesn’t need to take hours of your day. Studies show that even 15-30 minutes of napping can do the trick if you’re looking for a #reCHAARG to crush the rest of your day. However, if your afternoon schedule is a little more flexible to fit in some Z’s, be careful not to go too overboard — aim for about an hour max.
So if given the choice between a 25 minute power nap + killing time elsewhere between classes — go ahead + take the nap. You’ll thank us later ; )
+ Ali [@ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly