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To nap or not to nap? Sleep tips for Concordians

As finals approach, here's how to curb the urge to snooze
April 15, 2021
By Gabriella Szabo, Health Services

This time of year, it's tempting to hit the sack for a quick nap between study sessions.

Knowing how to manage your sleep can help you be a more successful student, especially in the busiest parts of the term.

The science of napping

Russell Foster, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, says that is “supremely arrogant” to think that we can abandon four million years of evolution and try to get by on less sleep. Some people use naps to try to ‘catch up’ on missed sleep; but many experts agree that it is better to get your sleep at one time at night. If you “need” to nap, aim to fit them within these parameters:

  • Keep them brief. Twenty to 60 minutes is optimal.
  • Avoid napping too close to bedtime. A nap can improve alertness, but it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.
  • Don’t nap while you're in class, at work, at the library, etc.

Some workplaces that implemented nap rooms — a trendy strategy a few years back — have since taken them out because they negatively affected employees' daytime productivity.

Sleep deprivation affects creativity, memory consolidation, and problem-solving, which are critical parts of being a student.

So let's revisit the tried-and-true basics of sleep...

3 sleep essentials

  • Most adults need seven or eight hours of sleep. Yes, that's per night.
  • You deserve sleep and the amazing benefits it confers on your health and academic success. Creating good habits and learning to prioritize your sleep begins with having the right attitude.
  • Defend your sleep! Use strategies proven to improve sleep quality and quantity — establish a sleep routine, and ban screens from your bedroom. Have a look at this complete list of sleep strategies from Concordia's Health Services. You can also check out this Counsellor Conversation on Concordia’s between Health Promotion Specialist Gaby Szabo and Psychologist Dr. Jewel Perlin to learn more about achieving a good night's sleep or book an appointment with a Health Promotion Specialist for one-on-one Sleep Hygiene counselling.

Keen to learn more? Check out Gabriella Szabo's healthy sleep tips for successful Concordia students.


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