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Nap time equals quality time for college students

December 1, 2006

It’s nice to come full-circle after nearly 20 years of schooling. Looking back, most of the tricks needed to make life a little easier were taught at a very infinitesimal stage in overall development (though the whole “just say no to drugs and alcohol” message seems a little fishy still). Think about it: wear a seatbelt, wash up before eating -- these are invaluable lessons that remain as important to us now as they ever have.

Out of all the great bits of wisdom from the past, though, none supercede the importance of nap time. Oh, what a great time naps were back in the day -- groups of kids all tangled together in some sort of kindergarten orgy. I remember trying to snuggle up to my first in-class girlfriend, Missy, during nap time. It was purely innocent, though, for I didn’t know how “that” worked, but I didn’t need to. I just wanted to spend more time — “us” time — catching some Zs with that blue-eyed cutie pie.

Despite Missy leaving me for another nap buddy, I still found nap time to be a significant part of my life, and it remains that way. While some students are out studying, working and achieving, the more learned ones realize that afternoons are meant to slow down the ruckus of the morning with a good afternoon nap.

Some nappers prefer drawing the shades, curling up in a comforter and putting on the late-night make-out mix, which is sure to include some lulling Marvin Gaye or David Gray tunes. However, a more productive nap time is reached by turning on Bill O’Reilly at a low volume. That guy is sure to put anyone to sleep.

No matter the napping environment, nappers are all hoping for the same outcome: the perfect nap. This can come in one of three forms. The first is the power nap, which usually lasts between eight and 25 minutes. Power naps are intended solely to help stay awake for the next two to five hours following the nap. Only sometimes refreshing, power naps have a strict purpose and shouldn’t be compromised for one’s standard requirement of naptime.

The second type of nap, at the other end of the napping spectrum, is the hibernation nap. That is the one when you wake up a few hours into a nap feeling completely rejuvenated, all gross and sweaty next to a pool of saliva wondering how you went from dozing off to worries of tomorrow’s poli sci exam to having a kinky sex dream involving two midgets and your poli sci professor. Those are the best kind.

Third is the typical nap, which falls somewhere between the power nap and the hibernation nap. Usually lasting somewhere between a half hour and two hours, the typical nap offers just the right amount of rest to get through the day. It should be practiced by everyone, everyday, especially us high-strung, stressed-out college kids.

If you aren’t yet convinced that nap time is important, then allow your mind to indulge on a couple scenarios. Think of a time when you were really pissed off, like when the condom broke mid-intercourse or someone stole your newest Final Fantasy game. Pure rage, right? Now try to remember the last time you were prematurely woken up during a nap by one of those loud-ass crotch rockets or a souped-up Chevy truck speeding down Cascade Avenue. A wise gambler would put money on you taking out a 12-gauge and popping some slugs in that dude’s front tire. If anger is a telltale sign of importance, then napping is most certainly up there in the ranks.

There isn’t anything better than taking a nap in the afternoon. Nothing. Not a chance. And since this topic is nearing a point of exhaustion, I believe I need to remedy some exhaustion of my own.

I can only hope that maybe somewhere over the mountains and valleys of this enormous planet on which we live, Missy is with me in mind and spirit, taking a nap.

Ben Jipson is a student at UW-River Falls.

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