Becoming a Better Sleeper

Brook Newberry, Reporter

There is no denying the fact that teenagers are the most sleep-deprived age group across the world and one of the best ways to combat this is by taking naps (Hopkins Medicine). Some naps can be a helpful way to relax and recharge; however, others can do just the opposite by disrupting your sleep cycle more than it can benefit it. Perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to naps is how long you attempt to sleep. As we sleep we go through stages, while napping for 30 minutes is way too long, falling asleep for a few minutes is way too short. 

According to The Sleep Foundation, 10-20 minute naps are the most recommended because they’re “long enough to be refreshing but not so long that sleep inertia occurs”. To further this Oxford University completed a study that agreed with this statement, shorter naps “have been shown to produce immediate benefits” rather than any passing 25 minutes. 

However, if you are looking for a longer nap laying down for 90 minutes is recommended, this way your body can complete an entire sleep cycle. Along with oversleeping, another harm of napping is falling asleep too late in the day. The perfect time to lay down is the halfway point between when you wake up and when you plan on going back to bed. 


How to Sleep Better 

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily
  • Avoid bright screens 1-2 hours before bedtime 
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping only
  • Avoid big meals at night
  • Postpone worrying and brainstorming
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends


Defining the Sleep Cycle

  • Stage One: Where your body starts to “slow down” and relax, this is the light stage which is the easiest stage to wake up from
  • Stage Two: Your mind begins to prepare itself for deep sleep, long term memory consolidation, and sensory processing 
  • Stage Three/Four: The body’s muscles begin to fully relax, this stage is critical for your physical health and recovery