Here’s Why Naps are a Blessing and a Curse

I am someone who always naps. I nap at home, in my car, when I'm bored, and when I have a bunch of stuff to do. I can literally nap whenever. And honestly, it is a good and bad thing. Below, I'm sharing my experience of napping and what I've learned about it to hopefully better myself and my relationship with sleep.

 

According to Merriam-Webster, a nap is a short sleep, especially during the day. So, I guess me sleeping for over three hours and waking up at midnight isn't necessarily considered a nap. But, in my head, I'd like to think that it is. To give a little background on my sleeping habits, I do not sleep well at night. Napping is usually my way to compensate for the sleep that I lost during typical slumber hours. My sleeping schedule is so all over the place. I can't even give a proper amount of time I sleep in a night. It can range from 10 hours to a measly 2, depending on the night. I've even realized during college just how out of whack my sleeping schedule is. 

 

During high school, I didn't fall sleep until after midnight, and when I got home from the 7-hour school day, I would immediately have an after-school nap. Fast-forwarding to now, I seem to always sleep after midnight. When I get home from a school day, I don't automatically nap. My naps now are sporadic, causing my sleep schedule to be the same. So basically, my sleeping patterns are a real nightmare.

 

I wanted to get more insight on how terrible my sleeping habits are, so I decided to do some research. Dr. Sujay Kansagra, who is an expert in sleep health, said in a Healthline article that, "as long as a person doesn't have issues with insomnia, there's nothing wrong with napping." Now I'm not aware of myself having an issue with insomnia (if you do, you should definitely get that checked out!), so I'm essentially in the clear! However, he also recommended that people nap between "20 to 30 minutes or extend the nap to 90 minutes.", and that's my issue. My naps are never shorter than an hour and 30 minutes. I still don't get how people can 'doze off' for five minutes! So, I guess that's essentially what I have to work on, the duration of my random naps.

 

Sleep is critical to me, and I'm sure a lot of my fellow peers. We barely get any of it, and I find that It's placed on the backburner for a lot of people who have extended responsibilities, assignments, projects and other things that take up of busy days. I challenge everyone to look over just how much they sleep during the day and figure out if it's benefiting or hurting you. Something so simple like going to bed a little earlier, or a short sleep during a busy day could make all the difference in your social, work, and school life.