Snooze smarter

Illustration by LaQuann Dawson

Illustration by LaQuann Dawson

Melissa Puppo

On any given day, you will most likely find sophomore crafts major Abby Schnure taking a nap in her residence hall at least once. Freshman finance major Allison Wiegand only gets four hours of sleep at night and finds herself taking two-hour naps at some point between her busy schedule.

“I’m way more grumpy if I don’t have a nap and irritable and grouchy to everyone if I’m really tired,” Schnure said. “Because then I try to make up for it by drinking coffee and caffeinated stuff, and it doesn’t work. It just makes me more tired in the end.”

They, like most other college students, have grown accustomed to the “natural” energy boost of napping. This boost keeps most going after the afternoon slump hits.

According to The Wall Street Journal in the article “The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science,” experts found the perfect breakdown for getting the most out of the nap times to make up for the lack of sleep people are getting at night. Napping for between 30 and 80 minutes might leave you feeling more tired than when you first laid down. They recommend to either take a power nap for 10 to 20 minutes or to go the full 90-minute span to complete a full sleep cycle.

Students on Kent State’s campus might not be taking full advantage of this study.

Schnure said her napping times usually vary between a 30-minute nap to an hour, or sometimes longer, but she said that’s usually where she likes to keep the time range. She said sometimes she feels refreshed after her afternoon naps, and other times she wakes up wanting to go right back to bed.

“On my Mondays and Wednesdays I have a two-hour break, and I always nap between classes. And then at the end of my day I usually take a nap around 5 p.m.,” Schnure said.

“I take a two-hour nap at some point [during the day],” Wiegand said.

She finds herself really busy and said she has gotten into a bad habit of staying up really late.

“Because this is my first year, and there is a lot of stress, I’ve had a lot of problems sleeping and being able to shut my mind off at night. So that’s why I kind of end up staying up late until I’m completely exhausted because I just have so much on my mind that I can’t fall asleep,” Wiegand said.

Dr. Ilene Rosen, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine said in the Wall Street Journal article that while the perfect timing for the best power boost is not yet determined, “the 10 to 20 minute power nap is really the optimal time in terms of bang for your buck.”

Schnure can agree. “I’d say my afternoon naps are successful in giving me more energy going into the rest of my day,” she said.

Amanda Rohrlick, junior visual communication design major, also finds relief in the days when she is able to find time to nap.

Rohrlick said napping is a good way to take a break and to revive and just have a little getaway from daily activities.

“Usually on the weekdays I have class or work early in the morning or midday, then I have a night class so it’s like 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I’m going,” Rohrlick said. “If I have one-hour breaks then I might take a nap if I have time.

Rohrick said she agrees with the scientific evidence on the proper way to sleep.  

Depending on how much time Rohrlick has with her breaks, she said she could take naps ranging from 20 minutes to three hours. She does, however, prefer short naps because “those keep me still going, and if I take longer naps, I’m just gonna be tired for the rest of the day.”

Although the study referred to in the Wall Street Journal article might be the solution college students need, there are those who probably won’t get rid of their old napping habits.

“I think [the study is] definitely true, but it may not be for everyone,” Wiegand said. “Some people would just have to know ‘if I take a two-hour nap I’ll feel better or if I take a half hour nap I’ll feel better,’ but I don’t know if that’ll hold true for everyone.”

Schnure said she has seen the study on the best way to nap.

“I think napping is all subjective to the person,” she said. “I think some people can’t nap — like my sister can’t nap because she’s tired the rest of the day — but I love taking naps because I feel really refreshed afterward so I think it’s all subjective whether [the study is] right or not.”

Contact Melissa Puppo at [email protected]