Yes, you read that right. Naps are crucial for sleep-deprived college students like you and me. When that headache starts to hit, and you barely made it through your last class with your eyes open, it’s time to nap.
In high school, you typically didn’t have time for post-school naps because of sports or clubs, but in college, you probably have some pretty big time gaps in your schedule. Definitely schedule in some naps during this down time if you need it. I started doing it, and it has saved me from walking around like a zombie on more than a few days.
My roommate actually introduced me to the concept of regularly napping. We both stay up late, and we’re not morning people, so naps are essential. That being said, you have to nap smart, otherwise you wake up from a 20-minute power nap 3 hours later. Happens all the time if you’re not careful.
Here’s what I’ve learned (mostly from my roommate, who is the napping expert. Trust me, she’s currently napping as I write this post):
- SET AN ALARM. This is the most important tip. You can try and convince yourself that you’ll naturally wake up in 45 minutes, but you probably will sleep for much longer.
- Plan your naps. If you only have half an hour to nap, that’s fine. Just make sure you schedule it in and set that alarm. You can read more about scheduling and making checklists in my post Write It Down: The Guide to Making an Effective Checklist. If you say you’re going to take an hour nap, then get up after an hour. Don’t wake up and then just set an alarm for another hour after that unless you have the time.
- Don’t get into bed. This is probably the hardest to follow because there are those days when you just want to come back from class, hop into bed, and burrow under 5 layers of blankets. This is amazing until you really have to get up and be productive but you physically can’t drag yourself out of your comfy bed. Unless I know I can nap for multiple hours, I just lie down on my bed and put a blanket over me. I have this Vera Bradley blanket that folds up into a pillow. It’s fuzzy and compact, and the pillow pouch part doubles as a cozy little pocket for your feet. Another option (and my roommate’s preferred method of napping) is using a “nap chair.” We have one such nap chair in our room, and it acts as extra seating as well. It folds up but it’s large enough to curl up in and very comfy.
Speaking of naps, I should probably go take one now….