Letter: Becoming a child

76

Everything she said to me seemed to increase my distress. “Mom, noooo,” I cried. Her voice seemed too controlled for a time like this. I let out one more cranky remark before I heard her say the dreaded words. “Do you need a nap?”

Have you heard that you start reverting back to your childhood as you get older? Research says that for college students, this should already be happening. Our mothers knew the benefits of napping long before our little minds could appreciate the subject. It rested our minds and bodies, saving the day from tantrum terror. Now it is back, ready to save us from ourselves in college. Sara C. Mednick, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, agrees: “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping. … You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.” Napping not only keeps your eyes awake in class, but it also increases your mind’s mental ability to retain recent information. According to studies, people who limit their sleep at nights are also limiting their ability to perform in school and get good grades in their classes. Although some of us still carry that grudge developed as a child against the napping institution, don’t act like a four year old. Just take your mom’s advice and take a nap.

STEPHANIE DOWDLE

Sterling, Va.

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