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The College Nap-sack: What You Need for Spontaneous Naps Around Campus

If you're like most college students, you're probably on your way to becoming a napping genius. You can nap your way through class, punctuate all-nighters with cat naps, crash for hours in the middle of the day if necessary, and power nap before power hour on weekends (or, like, Tuesdays at 5p.m.) But have you ever thought about packing your own little napping kit so that it's easier for you to crash all around campus, even while students and professors keep buzzing on around you? Napping isn't just a guilty pleasure after all: it can help you retain information, regain your focus for later classes and study sessions, and keep your stress under control.

Alongside your books and other materials you need throughout the day, make room for a little nap kit. Since comfort is always the key to a great nap, dig through your closet until you find your favorite hoodie, cardigan or scarf to keep you warm enough if you decide to nap in a cool spot, inside or out. It's true that you sleep better if your body temperature drops slightly, but the only free sleeping spot is in the path of an air conditioning vent, or there's a slight breeze outside, wrapping up so that you're super cozy will make you fall asleep more quickly. Other nap accessories that will keep you comfortable include a neck pillow (but only if you have room) and an eye mask, which will block out light and force you to keep your eyes closed. Eye masks are also great for communicating to passersby that you're serious about napping and don't want any interruptions. If music helps you doze off, bring your iPod or headphones for your iPhone, and set up a playlist ahead of time that your mind always associates with sleep, again making it easier for you to zone out faster.

Sleeping on a too-full stomach may lead to indigestion or nap that lasts way longer than you planned. At the same time, hunger pangs won't let you sleep either. Carry some granola, trail mix, nuts or a piece of fruit in your bag to nibble on as you transition from study or class time into nap time. Carbonated beverages are also a bad idea: stick to a plain bottle of water or juice, which will also help you freshen up and reenergize when you wake up. Even if you can't find the perfect spot to nap each time, the supplies in your nap-sack should make it easier for you to become a pro at spontaneous napping around campus.

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