Napping; Not Just for Preschoolers

Have you ever been tired between one o’clock and three? That is because over the course of human existence we have had the urge to take a midday nap. But over the last few centuries, we have deprived ourselves of this nicety.

I think it is time to go back to our roots and nap! Humans, especially students, need naps because rest increases your ability to retain knowledge, there have been many successful people who took naps, and napping relaxes the mind and body. Napping is important because it increases your ability to retain knowledge and increase productivity. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, “Even a light sleep can increase learning, reasoning, and emotion control”. A short nap after lunch could allow teachers to cover more and move faster throughout the year. Based on a fourteen day Harvard medical study, using healthy eighteen to thirty-five year olds, “rest enhances the ability to perform normal tasks”.

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And “naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. And a forty-minute nap improved performance by thirty-four percent and alertness by one-hundred percent” proven by a NASA study done on military pilots and astronauts (national sleep foundation). There have been many successful people who took naps regularly. Benjamin Franklin was known to take naps regularly to make up for lost sleep. Many students lose sleep because of homework and extra curricular activities.

Tomas Edison also took naps to makeup lost sleep. Teenagers’ bodies are different than adults’ and children’s bodies. We tend to not get tired as early because our hormones work later, making it harder to sleep at night. But teenagers still have to get up early because they have to go to school, causing us to get less than the recommended 9 or more hours of sleep. Winston Churchill took naps in the afternoon saying he needed his afternoon nap to cope with his responsibilities. John D.

Rockefeller was another person who took a nap in his office every afternoon. Eleanor Roosevelt was also known to take naps before speaking. President Bill Clinton also took naps in the afternoon; he took a thirty- minute nap at three every day. The famous Yankee Baseball player, Connie Mack, would take a nap before every game. Gene Autry (a famous actor) also napped; he did so between performances. Ronald Ragan was also known to retire to his private quarters for an afternoon nap.

All of these wealthy and very successful people were known to take naps to improve there performance and relax themselves (“The Wisdom of Dreams” 1). Napping has been proven to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body. “Even relaxed people give off 10 brain waves per second to keep their bodies functioning. But sleeping people give off 4 brain waves per second, to keep their body functioning”, as proven by Harvard Medical School. Also, sleep has been called brain food; it gives people more energy to function. A nap after lunch makes it easier to stay awake in the afternoon; this would decrease the number of students sleeping in class.

Finally sleep is relaxing; it is a pleasant luxury, and a mini-vacation that lets people escape form their stressful lives. You should try taking a nap; you will see how much better you feel! Considering the need for naps in people, especially students, to increase their ability to retain knowledge, I am bewildered that napping over lunch is NOT the norm. Especially with all of its benefits, such as an increase in your ability to retain knowledge, how many successful people took naps, and the fact that it relaxes and rejuvenates your mind and body. I believe that if we continue with the fast- paced lifestyle most Americans are living, we will eventually get ahead of ourselves, get out of control and crash. I believe that it’s time to return to out roots and demand a rest period to give us a little more, much needed rest!