A few days ago, Tyler wrote about why napping is amazing, and while I TOTALLY agree with her, my body does not. Napping used to be essential; how else would you rejuvenate after pulling an all-nighter to write that Emily Dickinson term paper? I think back in college, I used to need at least twelve hours of sleep to function. I was like a toddler. If I didn’t reach my sleep quota, I would be a fussy, horrible human being the entire day. Fast forward three years, and I can’t even imagine how unproductive my life would be with that much sleep.
Sleep is a double-edged sword. It’s necessary, and awesome, and I love it, but if I overdo it, sleep becomes my worst enemy. Here are 6 reasons why those seemingly harmless cat naps are actually self-destructive:
1. You can spend that time doing something cool.
Or at least practical, like catching up on Once Upon a Time, reading Aimee Bender’s new book, or sprucing up your Pinterest boards. Yes, I’m serious. Life is short, why spend it napping? Personally, if I foolishly decide to nap, I end up feeling guilty and anxious because I could have been doing a million other things.
2. Napping completely ruins your sleep cycle.
And you have probably spent years perfecting it. Seamlessly going to bed at 11:30 p.m. and waking up at 7:30 a.m. is not easy to get down, and a nap will destroy that perfect schedule like a Sleep Godzilla wreaking havoc in your delicate, balance-dependent world.
3. You wake up in that weird post-nap daze and it lasts all day/night long.
Waking up at 7 p.m. from an hour-long nap is surreal. It’s suddenly dark, your brain feels very heavy and filled with cumulus clouds, your muscles ache because you fell asleep in a weird position, and you are very, very disoriented. You will spend the rest of the day spacing out and wishing you never napped.
4. Recent studies show naps are bad for you.
I know we are told that power naps are incredibly harmless and good for our brains and bodies, but according to these studies, those who reported napping less than an hour each day had a 14% increased risk of dying. If they napped for more than an hour, that risk increased by 32%. Of course it may not the nap itself that’s dangerous per se; it’s the underlying problem, such as sleep apnea or insomnia that may be the problem.
5. Naps make you hungry.
Maybe this is just a problem unique to me, but whenever I would wake up from a nap, I could inhale an entire pizza. It’s like being drunk, except you’re just sleepy and still likely to make bad decisions.
6. It’s hard to time naps
Experts who do claim naps are great will probably say something like, “give yourself a half hour to refresh your brain and recharge!” I would love to recharge, but I also don’t know how to turn off right away. Like, who goes to take a timed nap and actually pulls it off? It would take me at least a half hour to even get myself to fall asleep (since this is happening during the day and all), let alone sleep for a half hour. Timed naps are an art I am not willing to practice.