A Regression into Childhood

When you think about it, college is a lot like the childhood years. We live to eat. I just had Gushers last week and forgot what I have been missing out on for the past ten years. We freak out over small amounts of money. The excitement you feel upon discovering a dollar in the pocket of your pants is much like that of a five year old child. But I think the one way that college is the most like kindergarten is… the nap.

I’ve never been a “nap” person. I would try. Really. I’d lay down for a good half hour with my eyes closed but could just not fall asleep. Enter college. Naps are now a necessity. Even just a twenty minute power nap manages to refresh and stimulate despite stopping short of deep sleep. Psychology Today outlines five easy steps for the ideal nap:

  1. Name a time. If you nap too early, you may not fall asleep. But if you nap too late, you may have trouble falling asleep at night. The perfect time? Around 1-3 in the afternoon. This time can also  help counter the classic post-lunch dip in energy and alertness.
  2. Name a place. Obviously a bed or couch is best but if you have a break between classes in the afternoon, try the comfy couches in Raynor or lounge furniture in Johnston Hall’s jPad.
  3. Turn off the phone. You can’t catch some shut eye with your phone buzzing every. single. second.
  4. 20 Minutes, not 40. You should wake up feeling rested, not exhausted. Studies show that for a healthy, young adults, twenty minutes is the ideal length of a nap. Short naps will boost alertness and performance without feeling groggy afterwards. If your naps last longer than half an hour, you may be interfering with your nighttime sleep schedule.
  5. Don’t stress if you can’t fall asleep. As long as you don’t stress out over it, the rest and relaxation will still do you good. In fact, a study by British researchers found that just lying down with the intention of napping was enough to cause a drop in blood pressure.

Give yourself a nod to the good ole days of kindergarten. Take a nap. Your brain will thank you. Or better yet, spring for the gushers. Your taste buds will thank you.