Why Should We Nap?

by TRACEY HA

It is officially midterm season and that means it’s the prime time for sleep-deprived students. Sleep is extremely important for both the body and mind. To balance sleep and studying, students should opt to take a nap instead. In one study, it was found that napping improves cognitive function. This means that when you’re tired, take a nap. Doing so can help you learn the material for your upcoming exam more efficiently, rather than forcing yourself to absorb all the information when you’re tired. This can run the risk of forgetting it all later on.

So, how long should you nap for? That will vary for every individual but even a five minute nap can greatly improve your alertness which in turn can help you learn the material better. A 20 minute power nap will not only improve your alertness but also motor learning skills. Naps longer than 20 minutes improve memory. Now you’re probably thinking that coffee can keep you alert and won’t cut your studying time short, but actually, caffeine can decrease memory performance. The benefits of coffee cannot replace the benefits of napping. Although everyone may be busy studying, it is very important to keep in mind that when the brain is fried, it’s best to take a break and relax. Sleep is just as important for the learning process as it is for our mental and physical health. Good luck on your exams!

 

This post was provided by SEARCH, a UCLA SWC Committee.