Sure you do. And you know you’d enjoy it. If you could just find a few minutes during the day every day to do it you’d find yourself more relaxed. More focused. More energized and ready to take on the world. If only the day would allow that 45 minutes or so a day where we could all fit one in we’d be better off. We’d live longer, be less stressed, and enjoy going to work far more than we do now. I mean, who couldn’t use one now and then?
I could use one now, which explains this post.
I am talking about naps. Please.
I used to nap a lot. A habit of being in the military and sleep being at a premium, I am able to sit down most anywhere and doze off at a moments notice. Even now, when I can, I will find a quiet spot, even on the road, and pull the truck under some shade and take a quick one if I can get a few minutes of sleep in. I always feel more refreshed, more energized and more alert after a quick thirty minute nap. Stigma aside, napping seems to me to be a healthy activity. It’s often associated with laziness, but what do those people know, they’re just tired and grumpy.
And studies have shown that napping has some definite positive effects. Keep this article to show to your boss when he gets angry.
As part of my new found healthier lifestyle I am reintroducing the power nap. An old friend that has been gone far, far too long.
As I said, napping has some definite physical benefits. Studies done on military pilots and astronauts have shown marked improvement in alertness and overall performance when they were able to take short ‘power naps’. Studies in Greece have shown that people who napped suffered 37% fewer heart attacks. And almost counterintuitively, a nap during the day allows you to sleep better at night. Some stunts even hint at napping leading to a longer life span.
There are also some psychological impacts as well according to the National Sleep Foundation (BEST……………JOB…………EVER). Napping reduces stress. I’ve found that if I am in the middle of something particularly stressful or up against a problem I cannot solve, taking a short nap relaxes me enough to where I can focus on the task at hand. Sometimes I’ll even arrive at the answer while I am settling down and the peace and quiet of the nap itself wipes the clutter from my mind and allows me to focus. And studies do show that napping increases cognitive function and creativity. Napping increases memory function and learning ability.
Ideally, a nap should last between ten and forty-five minutes. Longer than that leads to fogginess and interrupting your sleep patterns. So, as with everything else, the key is moderation. Naps are, in no way, a substitute for getting sleep, but they do allow us the time to recharge our batteries and give us a temporary boost.
Speaking of naps, it’s about time for one.
Have a great weekend folks.