AberSU Napping Tips

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In celebration of our recently unveiled napping facility, we’ve put together some tips for healthy napping:

  • To recharge, experts recommend never napping for more than 20 minutes – if you need longer head home.
  • Keep this room silent, and don’t use laptops or screens
  • Ditch the coffee after 4pm – “you can download a caffeine monitoring app to help to track your intake and if it will interfere with your sleep. Remember hot chocolate has caffeine in it so it is not a good bedtime drink – try herbal tea instead.” – Dr Sarita Robinson.
  • Get more sleep – “more sleep has been repeatedly clinically proven as the most effective way to improve academic performance. It receives little marketing and publicity because there are few products that can be sold in this area.” – Dr Philip Hodson.
  • Sleep in darkness hours – “usually, sleep is more effective in dark hours; sleep enhancing brain chemicals such as melatonin are secreted at night (and absorbed during the day). Shifting the day/night sleep pattern can disrupt this. Students should try to get as much regular night sleep as possible.” – Dr Andrew Mayers
  • Nap efficiently – “learn how to power nap; researchers have shown that a 5-10 minute power nap at some time between 2pm and 5pm can significantly enhance cognitive performance.” – Dr Nerina Ramlakhan
  • Eat smart – “include in your evening meals and snacks, foods that can aid sleep. These includes bananas, cherries, almonds and linseed.” – Dr Pat Duckworth
  • Put your phone away – “avoid using your phone/tablet before bed, as the blue light will cause increases in the hormone melatonin and this will stop you sleeping. If you have to use your phone or tablet, download a red light filter app to reduce the blue light” – Dr Sarita Robinson
  • Take regular breaks – “our ability to concentrate runs in cycles of roughly 90mins. After this time the working memory in the prefrontal cortex shuts down and we stop retaining information. Even a 5-10 minute break can help to ‘unload’ the working memory so we can come back to the task with renewed focus. Get up and move around, eat a piece of fruit, avoid checking emails and going on the internet – the aim is to give your brain a complete rest.” – Dr Nerina Ramlakhan
  • Control your breathing – “when you get into bed, practice relaxation breathing to trigger relaxation in the mind and body. This involves breathing out for longer than you breathe in by counting to 6 or 7 as you breathe in and to 9 or 11 as you breathe out. Just three minutes of this stimulates the parasympathetic system to relax the body.” – Dr Pat Duckworth

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