The Benefits of Power Naps for Students

Last Updated: 30 March 2024

Did you know that one in every three adults struggles with sleep deprivation? In fact, according to the CDC, 60% of college students have poor sleep patterns. It is a staggering number plaguing the education system, considering that many of these students deal with endless assignments, demanding schedules, clinicals, cramming for exams, and vibrant social life. However, while it is tempting to sacrifice your sleep to get good grades, it is doing more harm than good. Research shows a simple and more efficient way to take power naps.

We are not sleep experts, but we have the best researchers who can cover almost every topic. These researchers draw from renowned sleep researchers such as Professor James Beryl Maas and Rebecca S. Robins. Based on the insights and experiences of students we ask questions, we have compiled a comprehensive article that sheds light on the benefits of power naps, specifically for students.

How Long Should a Power Nap Be?

Power naps are quick, short sleep taken during the day and are intended to revitalize you. Experts say ideal power naps should be between 10 to 20 minutes, long enough to revitalize but short enough not to fall into deep sleep. This theory is also supported by the Sleep Foundation in the US, which suggests that people should aim for 20 to 30 minutes of sleep.

These naps are unlikely to interfere with your nighttime sleep when it is early afternoon. Interestingly, you might have heard about the ‘NASA nap’, a 26-minute nap. Well, it is proven to boost alertness by 54%, which could be a major boost, especially if you want to master tough subjects such as music, engineering, architecture, actuarial science, medicine, nursing, computer science, etc.

Naps do not count as sleep and are not a replacement for a full night's sleep. Taking short naps is a good way to alleviate fatigue and boost your productivity, but please note that it does not reverse the negative effects of sleep loss.

What is the Best Time to Nap?

While napping is good, you must know when to do it to achieve the best results. The following are ideal times to take naps:

Benefits of a Power Nap Every Student Should Consider

Here are all the benefits you can reap from taking power naps.

1. Increases Productivity

According to a study, short naps can help improve cognitive performance. Students who get enough sleep are more productive and perform well in their studies than their counterparts who do not nap.

Sleep-deprived students cannot pay attention for long compared to those who sleep more. Poor sleep also results in poor judgment and decision-making errors and decreases motor performance.

When your cognitive abilities are lowered, you will struggle to stay attentive in class and work on even the simplest of tasks, which increases your chances of making mistakes. Thus, taking naps during the day as a student will stimulate creativity and enhance productivity. It promotes alertness until 2 hours after taking a nap. Therefore, taking a nap before a class will ensure you pay attention even to the most challenging topics.

2. Aids Your Memory

Taking short naps during an overwhelming day can help you retain information well. According to research, sleep facilitates memory consolidation—strengthening and integrating new information into your long-term memory. When you take naps after studying or lecturing, your brain will actively process and consolidate this information, making it more difficult to forget.

Furthermore, naps allow your hippocampus — a part of your brain responsible for memory formation, to rest and rejuvenate. When this happens, you will be more receptive to learning and retaining new information when you wake up.

According to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, which reviewed data from 2,974 people living in China, those who napped during the day had better word recall than those who did not nap.

3. Boost Creativity

Do you have an essay that you need to develop but cannot think of any ideas? Consider power naptime. The journal Science Advances published a study by researchers at the Paris Brain Institute that showed that creativity increases when people wake up immediately after a short nap.

The study showed that the elusive transition from sleep to wakefulness is when the brain can identify solutions to problems or challenges that might have been elusive earlier. Thus, taking naps can help boost your creativity.

 However, experts agree that for this to work, you should only take the right naps. Specifically, the nap should be short and end when you drift off to sleep.

4. Encourages Understanding

Furthering understanding is also part of the power nap benefits. Research shows that while you sleep, your brain can move ideas and concepts across different brain parts.

Power naps include periods of stage 2 sleep, during which your brain slows down and is characterized by short and powerful bursts of electrical activity called sleep spindles. According to a study published in the Royal Society Publishing, sleep spindles facilitate the integration of new information and facilities for understanding.

5. Helps Control Your Moods

College can be a stressful environment. Tough clinicals, unending assignments, and a lack of enough personal breaks can cause you to be extremely stressed. If you find yourself snapping at your friends or classmates and being moody all the time, it may be time to consider power napping for better moods.

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your mental health and leave you feeling emotionally drained. You will be less impulsive and better able to deal with daily frustrations. So, instead of letting this stress affect and control your noodles, a power nap can provide a momentary escape.

Sleep helps release serotonin, a happy chemical that can boost energy levels. So, when you wake up after a nap, you will feel happier, relaxed, and ready to tackle whatever challenge.

6. Improve Decision Making

Decision-making is a cognitive process that can be affected by many things, including fatigue and stress. As a college student dealing with many issues, you may find it hard to make decisions, even those critical to your studies.

Taking power naps will help you process the information you perceive while awake. When you wake up, you can identify decisions, gather sufficient information, and assess alternative solutions before finally deciding.

7. Reduces Fatigue

Bustling with back-to-back classes, endless projects and assignments, and needing to keep up with your classmates can leave you feeling fatigued. However, there is a secret to dealing with all these: taking a power nap.

The big question is, “How are these short bursts of sleep effective?”

When you take a moment to sleep, your brain can reset and rejuvenate. The longer you are awake, the more adenosine your body accumulates, causing you to feel sleepy and tired.

When you nap, your brain slowly releases the excess adenosine, causing you to feel more relaxed and alert.

How Many Power Naps Is Enough for You?

Experts agree that taking power naps is okay, but you should only nap once a day.

If you nap more than once a day, you may not get enough sleep at night or have a sleep disorder.

You need to see a sleep expert to solve your sleep issues before things get out of control.

How Do You Get the Perfect Nap?

Whether you are a serial or a first-time napper, learning the perfect napping technique to get the most out of it is crucial. Here are tips that can help.

1. Don't Nap for More Than 30 Minutes

According to a study published in Harvard Health Publishing, longer naps of more than 30 minutes could increase your risk of getting high blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

2. Choose a Good Environment to Nap

If you are trying to squeeze in 15 to 30 minutes of sleep, it will be hard when distractions surround you. Find a good place in college, such as the library, where you can nap without anyone or anything disturbing you. You can also consider returning to your dorm or residence to have that power nap in the ambience of your room.

3. Allow Yourself Time to Come Round

After waking up from your nap, you will feel groggy, drowsy, or in a bad mood. Nothing to worry about; it is perfectly normal. However, you must shake that off before starting your college task. Take some minutes to shake that off and slowly ease yourself back into your day's tasks,

4. Nap at the Right Time

Do not nap in the morning or late in the afternoon. The best time to nap is in the afternoon or when you feel extremely tired. You should also avoid napping close to bedtime, as you will have difficulty sleeping at night.

The Bottom Line on Powernaps Benefits

Power naps are the best way to deal with all the pressures of college life. Sleeping will help restore your mental sharpness and to maintain a sharp focus on academic tasks. By harnessing power benefits for students, you can unlock the secret weapon within you and conquer whatever challenges you face. Remember, when tired or in doubt, just nap it out.

Our writers can work faster on some tasks, especially urgent papers because we encourage them to nap. 98% of our writers confirm that napping helps them solve tough tasks. When they nap, they have the energy and tempo to deliver without affecting quality. If you have a paper due soon and want someone to do it as you nap, you can count on our academic writing geeks. Your paper is as safe and guaranteed to be custom-written as your best version would have written it.