I don’t know about you, but every day around 2:00 p.m., I hit a brick wall. Figuratively, not literally, of course. At this time, every single day, I start getting sleepy. My eyes droop, I have to constantly stifle yawns, and I cannot focus on anything more mentally stimulating than a game of Angry Birds on my phone.
Evidently, I am not alone. For the past four years, the University of California in Davis has been promoting the benefits of enough sleep to its students. The school has actually been promoting napping as a way to boost academic performance, while also boosting focus and productivity.
According to much research, humans need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep; if you do not get this amount of sleep at night, you can supplement it with power naps that last 20-30 minutes. Also, many humans have natural energy slumps between 10-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., (which explains why I need a nap at this time on most days).
“We’re familiar with the benefits of sleep,” said Amelia Goodfellow, a student assistant who specializes in sleep and stress at UC Davis. “We’re not as familiar with the impacts or positive effects of napping, which are very similar.”
Goodfellow and other presenters at UC Davis also said that if students increase the amount of sleep they get every day, they are also likely to increase the quality of their academic performance. This makes sense: obviously you are not going to be able to pay attention very well in class if you are dozing off during the teacher’s lecture. The school has even created a “nap map” for students to rank the best napping locations on campus. This allows commuter students to rest between their classes; students who live on campus can just go back to their dorm rooms.
Although there are obviously benefits to getting more sleep (i.e. not drooling all over your final exam because you fell asleep), there have not been many campaigns on college campuses to drive this message home to students. So far, the educators at Davis who have been promoting nap time to their students only know about similar campaigns at two other schools: Oregon State and San Diego State. I just can’t wait until my school decides to implement a school-wide napping-awareness campaign!
Via USA Today
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