The art of napping

4 mins read
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Everyone will be sporting the ostrich pillow.

University of Stirling students! The time has come to tell you that napping is a good thing. A thing to celebrate. A thing to practice. Brig is on hand to help you get the most out of your naps, and to ensure nobody can ever brand napping as a lazy habit ever again!

We all take naps, and therefore at the beginning of this new academic year let’s do it properly.

Firstly it is very important to note that your body loses heat when you are sleeping- use a blanket, your coat, or someone’s jumper that is lying around to help your nap get to a good start. It will also prevent the cold from waking you up.

Snacks like milk, almonds, porridge and cherries can all help you fall asleep faster. Just make sure you get the balance right- you don’t want to not be able to get to sleep due to a heavy stomach or indigestion.

If you prop yourself up you are less likely to fall into a deep sleep. So really, nothing but the full works of lying down properly is acceptable.

You also ideally need darkness and silence to nap efficiently. Understandably, this can be difficult to find, and the experts among us know they need not worry about small details such as these preventing them from having a good nap.

Important: plan out you naps according to certain time rules.

  • The power nap. A 10-20 minute nap boosts energy and alertness. So when you are flagging with that essay or piece of reading, you can now power on through. A nap of this length will make it easier to get up and go again straight away.
  • A 60 minute nap will help you remember new information. Exams, tests- you now have an excuse!
  • Even better, a 90 minute nap will help with memory and creativity. This full sleep cycle also makes it easier to wake up.

Warning: do not nap for 30 minutes – this is such a bad time in the sleep cycle that you will wake up with that groggy, feels-like-a-hangover, feeling that can last up to 30 minutes after waking up. Although surely nobody needs to be told twice they must sleep for longer.

This next tip must only be used in the most serious of situations: If you are in need of an intense revival, drink coffee right before you settle down for the nap. It takes about 15- 20 minutes for caffeine to kick in, and then you should be energised like never before.

Have a little bit of cash to spare? Or just really serious about napping? Then invest in the Ostrich Pillow. Napping made even easier. Like a hoodie, but also a pillow – you can put your head down on the desk, and with special hand spaces, napping becomes incredibly natural.

But a hoodie is good too.

If possible, try to nap between 1pm and 3pm (if you have been awake for a while, not just getting out of bed). Scientists at Psychology Today say this will minimize not being able to sleep at night.

And it sounds simple, but tell people you are going to take a nap, so that you are not needlessly disturbed.

So, let’s do this year correctly! With even NASA recommending and celebrating the nap, it can only get better from here.

The Features section of Brig, Stirling University's student newspaper.

Editors: Elizabeth Ross & Warren Hardie

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