Do you feel tired? I know I’m tired. Did you get enough sleep last night? I know I didn’t. So what’s there to do? Well, do you remember the days when you were a kid and you used to nap? (insert something about how awesome those days were). What ever happened to napping anyways? I’ll tell you, you stopped doing it is what happened. Nowadays most people think napping is just for little kids and the elderly, but that’s simply untrue.
We make children nap because they need a lot of sleep, their brains are undergoing massive changes as they grow, learn and take in immense amounts of new information. Older folks tend to nap because they undergo a few physiological changes that make it harder for them to get to sleep at night (no, they don’t require less sleep than anyone else). Then there’s everyone else in the middle, and we need sleep too! If you feel like you can’t get all the Z’s you need, try napping.
I don’t always nap, I don’t have a scheduled nap time in my day, but if I’m tired and losing serious productivity as a result then I’ll take a nap. There’s no sense in staring at your paper without reading it as you eyelids start to droop and every ounce of available willpower is needed just to keep your eyes open. So take a break, take a nap. As little as ten minutes has been shown to improve performance, even though really quick naps don’t always make you feel better. NASA has a nice bit of research showing that naps of all shapes and sizes really do make a difference, even if you don’t manage to fall asleep during your nap time.
For the truly bold of heart I might recommend the power-nap. In order to power nap simply proceed as follows: Prepare yourself for a nap as you would normally, set an alarm for about 20 minutes, down a cup of coffee double-time, and then take your nap. Personally I don’t drink coffee, but caffeine is still a beautiful thing so when I would like to take advantage of it I go in to a caffeine pill and that works wonders. After ingesting caffeine it takes about 20 minutes for the effect to actually start kicking in and around 45 for it to hit full-stride. So just as you’re waking up refreshed from your nap the caffeine starts giving you its own boost. And there you have it, the power nap.
Need a place to nap? I do best with a bed or the floor, but benches, tabletops and slouched in a chair will also do in a pinch. Just don’t forget to set an alarm and all will be well.
Banner image by GradLife McGill Blogger N. H. Zelt