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The Science Behind the Power Nap

Jacob Rothenberger, Writer

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After school, work or any other exhausting activity, many people choose to go home and crash. “I take fat naps,” says Therie Moore (’20). Naps are typically viewed as beneficial and refreshing for a person’s body and mind, but exactly how true is that?

Humans are monophasic sleepers, meaning our sleeps are usually taken as one big sleep, unlike the other 85% of mammals who are polyphasic sleepers- meaning they sleep in shorts periods throughout their days. The National Sleep Foundation says that it is not known if this is the natural phase for humans, considering the fact that babies and the elderly commonly take naps through out their days.

The National Sleep Foundation also says the ideal nap length is 20-30 minutes if you only need to feel refreshed, more alert and in a better mood. A 90 minute nap is ideal if you have the time. It allows your body to enter the deepest stages of sleep, and then entering the lightest stages of sleep before waking, so you will not feel groggy when you wake up. A disastrous nap is one that last 30 minutes to an hour. Your brain enters the deepest stages of sleep, without exiting them, so when you wake up you will most likely be groggier than before.

Naps and sleeping, like all things, are good for you and beneficial for your mind and body. However, if you allow your mind and body to doze for too long, the long and short term effects on your body will be negative.

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