I was one of the very few amongst my friends in college who simply didn't nap. For some reason, I was determined to attempt to get enough sleep at night and saw my classmates who were dozing their afternoons away, as somehow wasting time. I know—what a strange way to be when you're in college, since usually those four years are marked with bleary-eyed all-nighters, midnight pizza runs, and catnaps whenever you can catch them.
But thank goodness I eventually loosened up and came around, and within a year or two of graduating I'd become a champion napper—something I can still claim to this day. Simply put, I'm a huge nap fan, and I can reliably catch some zzz's in almost any situation where I can put my head down and stretch out. (Unfortunately this ability to sack out does not extend to airplanes. The cramped quarters make falling asleep nearly impossible for me.) And honestly, there's nothing better than a nice long nap on a lazy weekend afternoon, with no alarm to wake you up or an end-time looming. Ahh.
And I'm definitely not alone in my nap-itude. According to a survey released last week from the Pew Research Center, 34% of Americans took a nap today! In general, the frequent nappers were older than their non-napping counterparts and had more trouble sleeping at night. Some other findings: more men than women admitted to taking naps; more nappers had also exercised within the last 24 hours; the nappers had a lower household income.
While the study didn't actually quantify what constitutes a nap, most sleep experts advise sticking to shorter 'power naps' that aren't too late in the day—about 20-30 minutes as opposed to a full-on, several-hour snooze that can spill over through sundown.
For other helpful tips on how to use a nap to your best advantage, check out this article from the National Sleep Foundation.
Do you take naps? Do you prefer to sack out on a couch or do you actually take to your bed for the quick sleep?
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