Sleep tips


Although many students manage to get through 36-hour days on coffee alone, sleeplessness can cause irritability, forgetfulness, and fatigue—none of which they would want to experience during a three-hour exam.
This is where power naps come in handy—they can, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, improve overall alertness and memory, boost mood and increase productivity.
Thus named by James Maas, a social psychologist at Cornell University, power naps are short, taking place during the first two stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep, where the brain transitions from alpha waves to K-complexes, and ending before slow-wave sleep occurs.
These are the usual four steps of taking a power nap:
One: Find a good place to nap (somewhere safe and comfortable).
Two: Have caffeine right before your nap. Caffeine has to travel throughout the intestinal tract before it can be absorbed by the body and be effective. It usually starts working after 20 minutes— the same length of a power nap. When you get up, you will have that chemical energy boost to keep going.
Three: Set an alarm to go off 20 to 25 minutes after you finish drinking your coffee. If you sleep for too long, you may go into deep sleep and feel irritated when you wake up. If this happens, shorten the length of the power nap.
Four: Get up when the alarm goes off. Failure to do so defeats the whole purpose of a power nap.
Remember, naps are a short term fix. As Dr. David Dinges, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says, “[they] cannot replace adequate recovery sleep over many days.”
With that in mind, good luck with your all-nighters and early morning study sessions.