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Healthy Living Questions Answered
The questions that are included below are those that have been submitted to the Wellness Programs office anonymously. We answer these questions both on our website and some select questions in our newsletters.
I love afternoon naps– I crave them. Is it bad that I take naps every day? Does it matter how long I sleep when I do take naps in the middle of the day?
Who doesn’t love a good afternoon nap? There is absolutely nothing wrong with afternoon naps— however, you need to take a look at the whole picture. Is the reason why you need the nap in the middle of the day because of the lack of sleep you’re getting at night? The body needs 7-9 hours of sleep per day and if you’re not getting this each night, your body will feel it the next day. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, take a look at your sleep hygiene: what is your sleep schedule (follow the same one every night), what activities are you doing before bed (stay away from using the computer or watching TV right before bed), environment (quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable are best), caffeine (limit to 3 cups a day and avoid after 3pm), noise (loud roommates—invest in some earplugs). With all of that said, naps are still a great way recharge your battery.
Mid-day naps can create less stress, more patience, increased learning, and better health. If you’re going to take a nap, a typical “power nap” is anywhere between 15-20 minutes. Any longer and you’ll begin getting into different stages of sleep. If you’re going to go for longer than 20 minutes, commit to a full hour. The key is to try and wake up at the end of your sleep cycle before the next one begins. Grogginess occurs when you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, and doesn’t have much to do with how long you’ve actually slept. If you’ve got the time, the power nap may be just the thing to get you through the rest of your day!