There is absolutely no shame in napping. In fact, you are doing yourself a favor if you learn the benefits of napping. I know, just try explaining to your boss! There is evidence that napping can make you a better employer and more tolerable human being just by stealing a few minutes a day to let your body and mind take a brief break. And, we are biologically wired to do so!

Like animals, cavemen likely slept in multiple phases, polyphasic, to maximize hunting and share the burden of watching out for saber tooth tigers. Today in our fast paced working society we have morphed beyond that but the ideal pattern for human sleep is biphasic, that is, a long stretch at night with a short snooze during the day. A study done with Greeks found that those individuals that took a 30 minute nap at least 3 times a week had 37% less risk of dying of a heart-related condition. Among working men, their risk of death was reduced 64%!

Napping is not about managing your time, it is about managing your energy so you CAN manage your time. A nap has many positive benefits.
RELAXATION- Napping allows your heart rate to slow down, your muscles to relax and your brain to take a break.
INCREASED ALERTNESS and HEIGHTENED SENSORY PERCEPTION – A NASA study found that a 40 minute nap increased alertness by 100% and a 20 minute nap is more effective than 200 mg of caffeine. Napping reduces mistakes and is important for those with jobs that require high risk decisions such as pilots, firefighters, and truck drivers.
IMPROVED MOOD– When we are overworked and stressed we become anxious, irritable and easily distracted. Napping releases more serotonin which reverses those effects and creates a more positive outlook.
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE- When your body is tired, you are not able to stay focused and you are less effective. Naps help you stay energized and focus on your job or tasks.
BETTER MEMORY-Taking a nap allows your brain to stop recording and once you wake up it is like pressing the reset button and you are able to retain new information better than before the nap.
IMPROVED CREATIVITY- If you are too tired and have too much going on you cannot be creative. Most jobs need creative thinking and napping helps clear out too much brain chatter and allow for new ideas to come.

Best environment for napping– The best way to nap is keep it short— 10-3- minutes between 2-3 p.m.   This is the time you may experience post-lunch sleepiness or reduced attention span.You want to avoid going into a deep sleep.  If you sleep too long, you may wake up groggy and disoriented.
Create a restful environment with few distractions, and try to find a place that  is quiet and dark (under your desk, in a bedroom, in your car).
Be consistent – try to nap the same time every day.  This helps your body create a workable sleeping rhythm.

You are not alone if you are a power napper. Here are some famous people that share your daily habit
President John F Kennedy ate lunch in his bed and then settled in for a nap every day.
Albert Einstein napped every day and also got 10 hours of sleep every night.
Eleanor Roosevelt would nap before speaking engagements.

So join the crowd and enjoy a guilt- free nap!


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