Naps Are More Powerful Than You May Think

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Admit it: You don't always get as much sleep as you should. Most of us are guilty of staying up late on occasion, whether scrolling through Facebook or glued to the pages of a good book. Teens are no different! Unfortunately their lack of sleep has some serious health consequences. Not only does it affect their performance in school, but a lack of sleep can increase their obesity risk. According to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, teens are recommended to get 8-10 hours per night — but let’s be honest, that doesn’t always happen. With screen time trumping sleep time, it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the night. Luckily, that's where naps come in!

Besides making a teen feel well-rested, there are even more scientific benefits of napping. Naps can improve a person’s memory fivefold, according to research done at Saarland University in Germany. The research was conducted on adults, but likely is equally beneficial to people of all ages.

For the study, participants were shown a list of 90 words and 120 unrelated word pairs. Half the group then watched a DVD, while the other half took a nap for up to 90 minutes. After, each participant completed a memory recall test. Those who napped for 45-60 minutes performed five times better on the test than those who did not.

A brain boost from napping could be extremely beneficial to teens—whether they take a cat nap before basketball practice or a quick snooze before studying for that history exam

Besides naps, we suggest teens try these five tips to help get a better night’s sleep. From setting a tech curfew to creating a bedtime routine, little changes can make a big difference in getting more rest.

For more about the benefits of sleep, check out “The Teen Who Woke Up Her School” story from Choices magazine. It’s a health, well-being, and life skills magazine for teens published by Scholastic.