DegreeDiary

Refresh Your Mind By Napping

There comes a time in everyone’s life when the stranger next to you looks like the perfect pillow at public transport or when your eyelids simply cannot withstand the boring lecture of the professor. And mostly people around you can’t stop laughing or at least smiling when they catch your head falling down.

Researchers mention the impact that a lack of adequate sleep has on learning and memory. When we are sleep deprived, our focus and attention making it more difficult to receive information. Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.

There are many studies on the importance of sleep on human body. According to the work of Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., Take a Nap! Change Your Life, here are some benefits of napping:

  • Increases alertness. Studies have shown that if you break up your day with a nap, you will be as alert and energetic for the second part of your day as you were for the first.
  • Improves learning and working memory. Naps improve your working memory. This type of memory is involved in working on complex tasks where you have to pay attention to one thing while holding a bunch of other things in your memory.
  • Heightens your senses and creativity. Napping also improves your creativity by both loosening up the web of ideas in your head and fusing disparate insights together.
  • Improves health. Napping gives your brain a chance to rest and your body a chance to heal.
  • Prevents burnout. While we often refuse to take a nap because we feel like we have too much to do, studies have shown that putting in extra hours without rest dramatically reduces your productivity.

Nap rooms have become a more commonplace comfort for companies looking to display themselves as fun, dynamic places to work. We know Google uses high-tech nap pods to keep employees energized.

But this idea has now also been adopted by a university: the University of Michigan has introduced ‘napping stations’ in their library, consisting of beds and pillows. This is intended to allow students to take a break and overcome the damaging effects of sleep deprivation.

I’m sure it will be a new study for scientists to observe how these napping stations are used and what the impact is, assuming this can be properly assessed. I believe other universities and institutions can also provide facilities that allow both staff and students to seek refreshment and a break from routine since most of the scientists agree on this that napping enhances creativity.

You're probably thinking about ways to incorporate naps into your daily routine. Still it will be better to keep in mind that getting enough sleep regularly is the best way to stay alert and feel your best. But when fatigue sets in, a quick nap can refresh your mind.

 

Photo: A nap pod in Vancouver airport (Flickr)

 

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