The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

OPINION | To Nap or Not to Nap?

Not to Nap: Alexa Terry ’27

As I took my first step onto a college campus this fall, I noticed a trend among students. We are a body of people that LOVE to nap. From my roommate scheduling naptime into her daily schedule, to post-class small talk often containing “I am so tired, I cannot wait for my nap!” 

This constant talk of yearning for sleep in the middle of the day came as quite a shock to me. Though I understand the hypothetical appeal of a full reset to finish out one’s waking hours, I have found naps to negatively impact me and those around me who regularly engage. 

First, we must start with the most obvious drawback of napping: the time sink. When you lay down in bed with the intent of falling asleep, it is rarely a brief ordeal. Getting to and from residences, setting an alarm for the perfect time, and the actual act of laying in bed until you lose consciousness are all time-consuming actions. With the sheer number of tasks we must complete during a day, napping is guaranteed to cut into the time you have to get things done, making our time away from the bed all the more rushed and panicked. These tasks not only include class and school work but self-care necessities such as eating lunch or showering.

Getting those few extra minutes of shut-eye are a lame substitution for the loss you will surely experience because of it. The time spent napping may be worth it if the effects were truly transformative; however, they are negative if anything. For starters, waking up in the morning is hard enough. Why would you ever want to put yourself through the blaring sound of an alarm interrupting your slumber twice in one day? Perhaps you enjoy the shock this experience brings to your system. In that case, I applaud your mental toughness, but for most this is not the case. Nappers typically wake in a worse mood than they started in, sometimes yelling insults or vulgar exclamations at the device that has interrupted their sleep, making their poor personal decision the problem of everyone around them. As a napper’s roommate, I can say that the only tension we have faced has been in direct relation to her napping habit. 

This sour mood often continues throughout the day, with people ending up zombified shells of their former selves until they can finally return to their bed at the end of the day for a proper night of sleep. Unfortunately, that night of sleep may not end up being too proper. Arguably the most unfortunate outcome of taking regular naps is the harm they do to your nighttime sleep schedule. As napping becomes a pervasive habit, trying to hit the hay at a reasonable hour when the day has come to a close becomes nearly impossible. 

When I have tried napping in the past, I have found that the temporary joy that is brought from the nap itself is negated later that night when I spend hours tossing and turning in an attempt to regain that peaceful slumber I had wasted earlier in the day. 


To Nap: Joe Patti ’27

Let’s face it—college is demanding. It serves as a transitional period, bridging the gap between childhood and full-fledged adulthood. The workload, spanning classes, jobs, clubs, and personal engagements, can frequently feel unmanageable. For many students, it’s their first time away from parents for extended periods, forcing them to tackle the arduous task of “adulting” while juggling academic performance, relationships, and a bustling schedule. Regardless of who you are, this poses a significant challenge. Over days, weeks, and months of dedicating effort to college, you may feel drained or a bit beaten down. Perhaps you haven’t been sleeping well, staying up late for a Netflix binge, or simply feeling fatigued from constant mental exertion. Whatever the case, there’s a potential solution: napping.

Now, I concede that napping is a “waste of time” or  a “time sink,” this perspective only holds if you view life as a relentless pursuit of maximum productivity. If that describes you, feel free to bypass napping and embrace days marked by fatigue, irritability, and overwork. However, if you aim to savor your time in college, prioritizing your well-being, napping might just be the remedy.

Let me outline some obvious benefits of napping. Firstly, a well-timed nap should leave you feeling rested, alert, and prepared to tackle any upcoming tasks. Napping, along with sufficient sleep in general, effectively reduces stress and promotes a sense of calm after the morning and afternoon pressures. Moreover, napping and extended sleep provide your mind the opportunity to process information and allow your body to recover from exercise or illness. Taking the time to indulge in a nap can prove beneficial for your body, mind, academic pursuits, and overall happiness.

Having dispelled the notion that napping is a waste of time (and I hope you’re on board with me on this), let’s delve into refining our mastery of the ancient art of mid-day napping. I admit, it’s not easy. With improper methods, durations, and environments, napping can become a net-negative activity. Therefore, it’s crucial to experiment with and develop nap techniques that suit you. Whether it’s listening to music, getting comfortable, donning specific “napping clothes,” adjusting lighting, or enjoying some tea before dozing off, these approaches might work for you—or they might not. The process of discovering your optimal nap routine is where you’ll find yourself as a napper. I encourage you to embark on this journey, as I promise it will enhance your days, just as it did for me. Happy napping! 

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