Naps throw off sleeping patterns, make people overly tired and are unhealthy, right? Wrong.
According, to a recent Buzfeed article, if napping is done correctly it can help a person’s overall health status.
It may be a common misconception that taking naps during the day is lazy or unhealthy, however, a Buzzfeed article by Adam Davis, “19 Reasons Why You Should Nap More,” stated that short naps can help lower blood pressure, retain information, increase alertness, boost creativity and decrease risks of heart problems.
Also according to “Sleeping on the Job,” an article written by Sean Coughlan in BBC News Magazine, on “siestas,” the European tradition of an afternoon nap, napping is actually healthy when done in short periods of time.
Research has shown that naps and relaxation are very beneficial to the human body.
“Most people stay awake all day rather than taking a nap—but they’re fooling themselves. If they’re tired, they make mistakes and are more likely to have accidents. They can’t think as clearly,” said Noel Kingsley, spokesperson for Siesta Awareness, who was interviewed for Coughlan’s article.
“I feel that napping is an essential part to the college students well-being and happiness,” Keene State College junior Gabriella Raccio said.
“[Naps are] beneficial, but I haven’t figured out a beneficial way to do it,” junior Raphael Bastek said.
According to Director of Health and Wellness, Christine Burke, “There is evidence to show that twenty to thirty minutes of napping (a power nap) is really beneficial, but the problem is college students do not usually nap that way,” Burke said.
This could be the reason that Bastek said he believes that if he wakes up tired, but does not take a nap, he often will feel better than if he did nap.
Burke suggested setting an alarm if it is hard to take short naps.
“Deep sleeps will mess up the natural sleep cycle and once that happens, the sleep you are getting is not [beneficial],” Burke said.
Raccio also agreed that people “shouldn’t take long naps, [they] should only take power naps.”
Students may feel as if they are overtired because they are sleeping more than the 30 minutes and that leads them to think napping is unhealthy.
“Sleep is probably the number one contributing factor to a person’s overall health,” Burke said. “If sleep is needed then it should be taken to re-energize the body.”
“Traditionally most adults getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night don’t need naps, but if they feel tired they should listen to their bodies,” Burke continued.
Burke added that this can still happen without sleep.
“People find that even if they have time to just have quiet time during the day away from their phones, TVs and people, they can just close their eyes and do some deep breathing,” she said.
Burke gave further advice to students and reminded them it is important to, “listen to your bodies.”
Ashley Defilippo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org