With the daily stresses of college life, it is very common for students to take naps throughout the day. Students stay out late and get up early, making it increasingly difficult to get those vital hours of sleep in. Napping can increase how you act, feel and perform throughout your day. But most students do not understand what a proper nap looks like, meaning the length of the nap, time of day you take it, and why it’s important. 

“Limiting your naps to 10-20 minutes can leave you feeling more alert and refreshed,” said

Elaine K. Luo, MD

Gianna Donato taking a nap in between classes. Photo by Julianna Kissinger

Many students take long naps that can be as long as a couple hours. Some students wake up feeling even more tired and drowsy even though they have taken a nap for long amount of time. Studies have shown that taking the shorter the naps the better. That is why it is important that students educate themselves on how to take healthy naps that will accelerate their learning without taking a huge chunk of time out of their day.

When taking a nap it is important to remember that the shorter the better, otherwise side effects like sleep inertia could set in. Sleep inertia can greatly decline students performance as it can slow down reaction time, reduce short term learning and result in a feeling of grogginess and disorientation

“Longer than 30 minutes, is likely to leave you feeling sluggish, groggy and more tired than before you closed your eyes,” said

Elaine K. Luo, MD

Anna Fountain struggling to stay awake while doing homework. Photo by Julianna Kissinger

A few techniques students can use when preparing for a nap are planned naps, timing naps, and working caffeine  into your nap schedule. When you start your day it is important that you plan out your napping times, take a nap when you are not tired yet to prevent burning out early in the day. Make sure to always set an alarm or timer for your nap, set a timer for 15-20 minutes if you need a quick refresher. If you are in dire need to catch up on much needed rest, a 90 minute nap is said to increase your performance for up to 10 hours. Lastly, drink a cup of coffee before you take a quick nap. This may sound counterintuitive but there is actually a very solid reason behind it. Caffeine takes around 20-30 minutes to take effect so when you wake up from your nap you’ll be even more prepared to tackle the rest of your day and get your work done. 

Photo by Julianna Kissinger

Taking naps can be a good thing when you are doing it the proper way. Make sure that when you are going to take a nap try to set an alarm for the correct amount of time. So when you wake up from your nap you are not feeling even more tired and groggy than when you first fell asleep. 

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