“I’m so tired.”
As college students, this is a phrase we hear or say ourselves at least once a day. We’re tired. Between jobs, homework, friends, family, and let’s admit it, procrastination, we’re tired.
In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, “College students may need more sleep than they think–young adults can need up to 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep each night to function at their best.”
Despite this, “college students get an average of 42 hours of sleep a week, which is less than six hours a night”.
We are all sleep deprived. Yet, if you think that lack of sleep does not affect you, think again. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the side effects of sleep deprivation include: anxiety, irritability, lack of motivation, symptoms of depression, lack of concentration, fatigue, high blood pressure, a higher risk of illnesses including diabetes and heart disease, and more.
Despite this, there are many ways that we can all catch up on our sleep and feel more energized and healthy in the process.
In fact, one simple solution that can help us all feel more focused and energized is packaged in one word: nap. Nap well, and nap often.
There are many different types of naps, and to fully acquire the health benefits from this sleep; the one that you choose should depend on how much time you have to sleep.
Only have 20-30 minutes to sleep? Napping for this long, you can enter REM sleep, and reap the benefits of increased focus, energy, and memory.
Have 90-120 minutes to sleep? Sleeping for this long, you can reap more benefits, including feeling more awake and refreshed than ever before.
Some other things to consider before taking that all-important power nap are: how many hours of sleep you got the night before, how many you need, what time you need to go to bed that night, and what time you need to wake up in the morning. You know yourself better than anyone, and whether or not you are a morning person, a night person, or something in between.
Use this information to your napping benefit.
We’re all busy, but by getting more sleep each night, or in the middle of the day, we can all feel less like zombies and more like happy human beings.
So sleep. Sleep well, and often. Banish that notion of staying up until 3 A.M. to finish that paper, because I guarantee you, in that morning, it will not make sense.
Ceilidh Adams is the Opinion Editor for The Comment. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.