Study shows napping to an extent improves accuracy

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With 24 hours in a day, and most of that day spent in class, nap time can be a treasured moment.

Some individuals like to take short but effective naps during the day like power naps, while others focus on catching up on several hours of sleep, but taking daily naps isn’t always the best option for students.

Annie Schutz, a sophomore theater major from Knoxville, Tennessee, said, “I never actually took naps before I entered college.”

Students become excessive nap takers because they sacrifice their sleeping to devote time to study for tests and complete homework assignments.

“If you’re sleeping enough at night — seven to nine hours a night — naps don’t give you anything special in terms of sleeping benefits,” said Sophie George, an assistant professor of psychology.

If you don’t get enough sleep at night, naps can make up for those missed hours of rest.

Napping can be beneficial by providing relaxation, reducing fatigue and improving your mood and performance. 

Bruce Bower’s article, “Snooze Power: midday nap may awaken learning potential,” examined a Harvard University study that processed the actions and awareness of individuals after napping for a certain amount of time. Those who took 30 minute naps after a test session returned to work, showing no significant differences in their actions; however, in a similar procedure, individuals who napped for a full hour proved to be more accurate and faster in completing tasks. 

“Sleep isn’t that important to physical performance as it is to mental,” George said. “People who show noticeable cognitive impairment like insomnia are more likely to have memory problems and are at risk of depression.”

Jessica Lamoreaux, a junior photography major from Orem, said naps are beneficial during her daily schedule because she can get a significant amount of rest after completing a rigorous class and before starting hours of homework. 

Lamoreaux also mentioned that two hour naps are most effective for her because it’s a big enough time gap to actually fall asleep, as opposed to taking short half-hour naps.

George also mentioned five factors essential to sleep hygiene. The first two being that you go to bed at the same time every day and get some sunlight at least once a day. Next, ensure that your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet. Then, all meal schedules should be consistent along with a small snack before bedtime. Finally set 30-45 minutes aside to “wind down” before actually going to bed.