Taking a nap in a warm spring weather //Takashi(aes256) via creativecommons

“Taking a nap in a warm spring weather” //Takashi(aes256) via creativecommons

Naps are part of all living creatures’ lives. From time to time, we all need a moment to rest our eyes and doze off so that we can gain enough energy to continue the day. 

For college students and professors, naps are an essential activity that helps them get through the day, especially amidst the chaos of midterms and end-of-semester exams.

Professor Jennie Malboeuf, a visiting professor of English and Creative Writing, says that naps are “as necessary as food and water.”

“Prior to having a kid, I’d probably take two or three naps a week,” Malboeuf said. “Now, I grab them when I can if the baby is asleep for long enough.”

Taron Lilly, a sophomore and English major, also loves taking naps.

“Naps are like pressing reset, and help me replenish my brain,” said Lilly. “I mainly shoot to nap two times a week. It’s nice to pause and sleep on ideas; I find I’m more creative after naps.” 

Luckily for them, naps do have their benefits. According to, there are three main advantages of taking naps. 

Firstly, naps can help improve cognition.

 “Taking a power nap leaves you feeling more alert. In turn, your brain should function more efficiently,” the Healthline article stated.

An article by researchers from the University of Massachusetts demonstrated that naps reduce the level of adenosine in the brain, minimizing homeostatic sleep pressure and allowing for a full night’s sleep that improves cognitive abilities.

“Naps can also improve memory consolidation, the process during which our brain turns information into a long-term memory,” the Healthline article stated. “A good nap right after learning something new appears to help us retain that information.” 

According to an article by Oxford Academic, a group of researchers from the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore did a study to examine the cognitive benefits of a nap after learning new information. 

Participants were asked to spend 90 minutes learning about crab species, and were then divided into three groups—one group took an hour-long nap, a second group spent another hour cramming information about crabs, and the third group watched a movie. After a 30-minute break, participants were tested on what they had learned about crabs, and took a second test a week later. On the first test, the napping and cramming groups scored higher than the group who had watched a movie. On the second test, the napping group outperformed both the cramming group and the movie group.

Lastly, naps can even help boost immunity. 

“Lack of sleep increases the release of pro-inflammatory markers and causes immunodeficiency,” said internal medicine specialist Natasha Fuksina, MD in the Healthline article.

Napping can help fix that because it improves the immune system and cellular function, Healthline reported.

There are consequences to napping, such as being late, wasting time that could have been used productively and even getting in trouble.

“I was really tired so I was just kind of sitting on the couch, and I ended up dozing off and I got a text asking ‘Where are you? We were supposed to meet 10 minutes ago,’” said Lilly. “So I definitely think if you don’t plan out or set an alarm, naps can get you into a lot of trouble.”

“I feel like naps help you be a little less on edge, but then I remember that I have things to do when I wake up and I get stressed because I think, ‘Did I really waste away my day by taking a nap, when I could have done my big assignment?’” said junior English major Haley Madison.

If you would still like to nap, sleep experts on provided some tips for getting a good rest and still managing your time well.

First, you should try to nap between 1 and 3 p.m.

 “If you try to nap earlier than that, your body probably won’t be ready for more sleep, and if you nap later than that, it can disrupt your sleep at night,” explained certified sleep expert Jeff Rodgers, D.M.D. 

Secondly, set up your environment to be as dark, cool and quiet as possible. An eye mask or a white noise machine could help. Do not nap on your bed. Instead nap on a couch or a cozy chair so you don’t get too comfortable and sleep for too long.

Naps can be both helpful and destructive, but planning naps well, especially during this part of the semester, can allow us to rest and improve cognitive function for midterms and final exams.