Napping is defined as to sleep lightly or briefly, especially during the day. Basically sleeping for a short time not when you are supposed to be sleeping at night. Naps are extremely controversial in this world, but to me, they are life itself.
I have been an avid napper for the better part of my life and I like to consider myself an expert (just not in the scientific, psychological way). In a week I average about 7 naps, could be one a day or multiple on one day. People definitely have a love/ hate relationship with napping and for me, it's the former.
Each person has their own personal reasons as to why they nap. Some nap because they did not get the correct amount of sleep the night before. Some nap because they can't get through their long days without one, even with 7 hours of sleep. For me, it's because of how my mind works and my lifestyle.
Throughout high school, I began my napping career. I would go to school for 8 hours, go to volleyball practice, and come home completely pooped. I would immediately jump on the couch and pass out until dinner from exhaustion, then wake up with the energy to continue my night. It became a habit that I couldn't break. That is the problem with naps, once you start adding them into your schedule, they become addictive.
Things changed even more once I arrived at college. My schedule had more gaps between classes, enough time to go to my sorority house or dorm for a nap, as well as just overall being physically exhausting. You might not have as many classes as high school, but the work load doubled. Not only do you have school work, but you have club meetings, jobs, exercise etc. all that you need to fit into your busy life. Also, your new found independence allows you to make your own choices; go out late with your friends, eat all the junk food, and most importantly nap when you want to without your mom slyly telling you that's not a good idea. So you know what you do…you take that nap, once even twice a day in order to keep up with your over achieving self.
My advice for my audience, learn the different kinds of naps and what works for you. Or even more importantly if you are the type of person that naps help, if not, don't take them. For those quick energy bursts, I highly suggest the 9 minute nap. This nap is good if your extremely tired or good at falling asleep quickly. It's a quick sleep that doesn't let you fall in deep. On the other end is the 3 hour nap. That is if you have the time for it and need something that will get those bad feelings away and refresh yourself so that you can really get down to business. For me its either quick naps or long ones, but to each his own.
Napping has become my way to break up the day. One thing that I realized and learned to accept was the fact that I am a night worker, meaning that I am the most productive during the night hours rather than the morning or afternoon. This then allows me to use my least productive hours to take the nap so that I could stay up later in the evening. Also, it gives me that burst of energy to get on with my day. This was something I realized after studying my patterns, which is very important in figuring out what works best for you and if habitual napping is something to look into.
Napping is a great way to increase alertness, improve memory and is an overall mood enhancer. I live and breath by naps and I believe you should too!