5 Ways to Justify Your Nap
It's so weird to think how our preferences mature with age. Like how broccoli really isn't that bad now, and how Dora the Explorer is actually kind of obnoxious. And, more importantly, how naps are not a punishment but are in fact the very best things that have ever existed in the history of ever! That's not even a preferential thing, it's SCIENCE. Here are Very Real Reasons why you should be napping right now.
1) Naps make you more productive. You're supposed to get eight full hours of sleep every night, but let's be real: ain't nobody got time for that. If you want to make up for that lack of sleep (and you should! Your body needs it) then you should embrace the power nap. Power naps are 30 minutes or less in duration. It's kind of like when you restart your laptop and it takes like 20 minutes completing all of its software updates and app updates and whatnot, but then once it comes back to life again, it functions soooooooo much better. Think of your power nap as giving your brain the time to do essential software updates that will make you more productive for the rest of the day.
2) Naps boost creativity. Not that you're going to wake up from your power nap as the next Pablo Picasso or anything (OR WILL YOU!?!), but based on this super neat neuroscience study from Georgetown University, the right side of your brain continues buzzing with activity as you nap while the left side takes a break. Since we all know the right/awesome side of your brain is the side associated with creativity, this basically means that you COULD wake up from your nap with the most amazing idea in the history of the world and invent something that one day we'll be like, "Did you know this girl came up with this idea right after she woke up from a nap? We should all totally nap more," and then you'll be the reason people are allowed to nap in class and there will be monuments built to you all over the world.
3) Naps will make you less grouchy and stressed out. There's a nifty little neurotransmitter called serotonin that's in charge of regulating our sleep, appetites, and mood. It's what produces feelings of well-being and contentment (so we like it a lot). However, when you're all stressed out because of some stupid boy or test or because you realized that you have a hole in your pants and now you have to walk around like that for the rest of the day, then your body uses higher levels of serotonin to combat that stress and the production of more is blocked. Napping is like giving your mind a really luxurious bubble bath, because what you're doing when you sleep is giving your brain a serious serotonin soak. Instead of being irritable, overwhelmed, depressed, and/or easily distracted, you'll wake up a ray of sunshine everyone will love to be around.
4) Naps will improve your memory. There's a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which you could refer to as the brain's loading dock or recharging station. That's where all of your fresh memories go. When you sleep, you help your brain move that information from "temporary storage" in the hippocampus to more permanent storage in the neocortex. So if you've spent all morning pouring over flashcards for your Spanish vocabulary test but can't remember the words for more than five minutes, taking a quick nap could help you retain that information better—85% percent better, based on German research.
5) Naps are free! You could save so much money if you napped instead of ordering a Venti Quadruple-Shot MochaFrappaLatteChino or a 5-Hour-Energy, or a Mountain Dew every day for an afternoon pick-me-up. Getting your energy from a caffeinated beverage when you hit your 2 p.m. slump could cost you up to $40 a week! Science proves that naps beat caffeine every time.
Are you on Team Naps?