Wisely planned naps show considerable benefits

By Charles Louis Dominguez ’14

More than 85% of all mammals are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep periodically throughout the day.

Human beings are the minority. We’re monophasic; our days are divided in to two distinct periods: the time we’re supposed to be awake and the time we’re supposed to be asleep.

However, since children and elderly people nap regularly, it is unclear that this is the natural pattern for humans, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

As a nation, we seem to be becoming more and more sleep-deprived.

Studies show that, although nothing tops a good night’s sleep, a wisely-timed nap can help combat the death grip sleep deprivation has on the United States.

There are three types of naps: planned naps, emergency naps and habitual naps.

Planned naps are a preventive measure.

The planned napper takes a nap before feeling drowsy in order to ward off later feelings of drowsiness.

Emergency naps are taken out of absolute necessity, when someone suddenly feels tired and has something important to complete.

Lastly, the habitual napper goes to sleep at the same time each day.

Whatever the type of nap, short naps are preferred.

Oftentimes, naps that last more than 30 minutes leave the sleeper feeling groggier when they wake up than they were when they took a snooze.

I can personally attest to the legitimacy of this assertion.

As it stands, I’m caught in a cycle and I desperately want to get out of it.

After school each day, I take a nap—usually about two hours. When I wake up, I feel as though I have been struck by a truck.

Because I take this nap every day, my body tells me that I need to take this nap every day.

It’s a catch-22 of sorts and it leaves me both groggy and unproductive.

I average anywhere from three to six hours of sleep every night.

If you don’t nap the way I do, naps have great benefits to offer.

So, take a nap; you’ll feel better when you wake up.

Unless it’s more than 30 minutes.