Summer Siesta: Napping is Healthy For You

Is it okay for adults to nap in the middle of the day? In muggy Charleston, encased in the humid month of August (a month’s equivalent of rubbing your face in hot, sweaty, Satan balls), this practice is completely acceptable. Like the cats I famously dislike, college students find themselves prone to dozing off at 3 in the afternoon. In fact, when surrounded by the miasma of teenage hormones, I find my Circadian cycle quite discombobulated. I sleep from 3 until 6, then stay up until 4 in the morning only to sleep until 10. Breakfast lasts until noon, and the rest of the day is already dinner, the notion of “lunch” lost somewhere in between.

What ever happened to my very adult schedule, my non-childish tendencies? When I would go to bed at 10 to wake up by 6, to put on a tie and loafers so I could work and pretend to be mature? Perhaps all of these mid-day dreams have spun me off my rhythm. One moment, I’m fighting dragons and naked with Ellen Page (Weird celebrity crush, I know, but you get the picture), then the next minute I’m bent over like some skeletal scholar taking notes on the integral of globalization and its effects on the Wirtschaft. (Wait, I’m not in German!)

But even without an exhausting haul of work, summer offers a time for sleep, for naps, for visits to Nod, to voyages across the Elysium. These naps take place on benches outside in the parks, in our dorms sprawled across the floor, in sunny and inviting grass, in the showers, or most commonly, in the last row of the class room.

Man needs sleep, doesn’t he? To replenish? To revive his soul for the next hard-nosed undertaking? Surely, naps are not only acceptable, but encouraged. For the college students, regular napping can even be essential for decreasing stress and increasing brain function. According to naturalnews.com, 70% of adult Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. Naturally, sleepiness leads to sloppiness and bad habits, so the more we avoid it, the better our brains function. In fact, napping directly after learning something new helps the brain retain the information.

And if you care to, you can read this quote from their article “Daytime naps improve performance.”

Daytime napping is an especially useful tool for recovering from sleep debt. Most experts agree that the optimal time period for a nap is between 10 and 30 minutes. Studies have not shown much improvement in smaller naps ranging around 5 minutes while longer napping periods can interfere with nighttime sleep.

So next time it’s only 12, you have a three hour break, and don’t feel like doing homework quite yet, why not catch up on your winks?

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on August 23, 2012, in Blogging, College, culture, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. sanityandcigarettes

    Haha! I so wish work would let me nap in the afternoon! I have the best dreams when I nap because they are these weird half mixed reality things. Your Satans balls comment made me laugh so hard. Those were the exact words I have been looking for to describe the muggy heat Sydney gets!

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