Mastering the Nap

As a student, you may find that napping is essential to your well-being. Naps are known to increase alertness and ability to focus and improve mood. Naps can also help reduce stress. Knowing the ins and outs of napping can help you maximize the benefits without compromising on your sleep.

When is the best time of day to nap?

Your energy levels will naturally dip in the mid-afternoon. For most people, this is between 1pm and 3pm, so finding a short time in this window for a nap can help give you the right amount of rest to get through the rest of your day. Just know that it is not recommended to nap within three hours of your planned bedtime. Doing so may make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. 

What is the best amount of time to nap?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal length of a nap is 10-30 minutes long. This sounds like a short amount of time, but it’s generally all you need to rejuvenate energy levels, boost mood, and increase alertness. Anything longer than this can cause your body to go into a deeper sleep cycle in which you may wake up feeling groggy. Needing a longer nap this is a sign of sleep deficiency. If you find yourself taking longer naps, it may be helpful to connect with a medical provider, mental health provider, or health educator on your campus to help you evaluate your sleep habits and get back on track.

What is the best environment for a nap?

Ideally, you can take your nap someplace quiet and dark. You can also use an eye mask or eye pillow to create darkness and play soothing music or white noise to eliminate distractions. Did you know that some campuses have created nap rooms for students needing a quick refresher after studying ot between classes?

While naps are great way to rest, they are not a substitute for getting consistent, quailty sleep at night!