Fantastic naps and how to get them

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By Tileah Dobson

There is a word in the English language that adults look forward to and children despise it: naps. 

Yes, the very thing we hated as children is the very thing we crave as adults—with university students being one of the biggest advocates. But despite the well-deserved stereotype imposed on us, not many students know nap or are unaware of the benefits. Well, no more! I shall tear through the mystery and the big words, so you don’t have to. Let’s make students nap again! Sleep experts have said that napping can make you a better, more functional worker. It also reduces sleepiness while improving your cognitive functions, psychomotor performance, short-term memory, and mood.

There are four main types of naps, and each one has a benefit. 

 

Power Nap: 

10-20 minutes

This nap provides a quick jolt of alertness, along with decreasing fatigue. This one is perfect for road trips or long hours of driving. The Australian Police Force runs a campaign called ‘Stop, Revive, Survive’ to decrease car accidents and deaths due to driver fatigue.

 

Grogginess Naps: 

30 minutes

This one allows a boost to hand-to-eye coordination. However, this particular nap does come with a downside. The effects of sleep inertia do set in after you wake up. That groggy feeling you get? That is due to parts of your brain haven’t woken up yet.

 

Short-Term Nap: 

60 minutes

This particular nap just grazes the edges of deep sleep. A nap that often provides the most benefits; remembering facts, places you’ve been to, names and faces. This is due to our brain waves slowing down and our memories being pushed to our neocortex (brain’s permanent storage) as we sleep, thus preventing us from losing any data.

 

REM Nap:

90 minutes

REM sleep, or rapid eye movement, is the last stage of a sleep cycle and where you dream. REM naps provide the benefits of improving creativity, emotional and procedural memory. So, when you’re in a creative slump, aim for this nap. REM nap also helps to avoid sleep inertia, but this one is best saved for the weekends or after a huge study binge session. Sleep experts have suggested the ideal time to have a nap between 1 pm – 4 pm. Napping any later could affect your normal sleep schedule. And if you find yourself dreaming whilst napping, that’s a sign your body is telling you that you’re sleep-deprived. Better fix that.

 

Dos and Don’ts to Napping:

Do: Set an alarm to which nap you’re trying to achieve. 

Don’t: Go over a 90-minute nap.

Do: Nap early in the day. Midday to early afternoon is best.

Don’t: Nap after 4 pm. You’ll mess up your normal sleep schedule.

Do: Make your nap area comfortable. Have it dark, cool, and quiet. Eye masks are great for blocking out the light.

Do: Have a playlist of soft music or white noise. This is particularly great for people who can’t sleep when it’s too quiet. 

 

Weighted Blankets: Do They Help?

The trend of weighted blankets rose in 2018 and haven’t stopped since. The use of weighted blankets were used by therapists for kids with autism and behavioural issues. They also help people with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

 

Studies have shown that:

+ 33% of people saw a decrease in their nervous system overactivity

+ 63% of people reported had their stress lowered

+ 78% of people preferred weighted blankets as a tool to relieve stress.

 

It’s seen as a sensory tool. The idea is to create the same feeling as swaddling newborns; making us feel snug and secure to doze off. One of the best weighted blanket companies is Calm Blankets. They provide a weighted blanket for all season, sizes, and lifestyles. There you have it folks. The science behind napping, which one is right for, how to achieve the perfect nap and the benefits of weight blankets. We’ve even made a playlist on our Spotify account to help you achieve those Z’s.

 

Tileah Dobson

Tileah Dobson is a debt-ridden, meme loving, pun enthusiast, Harry Potter Stan, cat lady millennial…

Tileah Dobson

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