Make The Most Of Your Coffee Break Nap!
I remember back to my first few weeks at KIT, It was 20 years ago and I went from being a 9 to 6 normal person to a get up at 4:30am kinda guy and it was a major transition. I was tired a lot and over time I was known to take the occasional half hour power nap to recharge for the afternoon. A couple of times my co-workers thought it would be just so funny to take my picture while snoozing to be used for future blackmail or embarrassment. And so they did.
My new boss even bought me a pillow and a little "blankie". BUT I stuck to my guns maintaining that naps were good for creative workers and over time I searched for and found numerous articles and studies that backed me up, extolling the virtues of the brief power nap.
Now this is no obscure study out of the UK or news blurb out of Japan. THIS is the Washington Post! (I wonder in Jeff Bezos, owner of the Post, takes a nap or if he hires someone to nap for him...) An article in the Washington Post quotes Sara Mednick, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California at Irvine and author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life.” saying, "For many people who are sleep-deprived, a short shut-eye session is the ticket......Your mood gets better, your creativity, your perceptual processing, your memory processing.”
The negative impacts of not enough sleep are as significant as the benefits of a nap. Lawrence Epstein, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says, "chronically missing out on sleep is nothing but trouble. It affects performance, concentration, mood,...It also “affects physiological processes involved in maintaining good health noting links to obesity, hypertension and heart disease."
There are a ton of benefit to the nap in terms of problem solving, cognitive recognition, memory, happiness, physical endurance and more.
If you are like me, you can doze off sitting at the keyboard or stretched out under a desk (and I do) but what the pros suggest is to set an alarm, shoot for 20 minutes, get comfortable, lie down if you can, breath slowly, use an eye shade and earplugs if you can and when you wake up, turn on the lights and splash a little water on your face.
The key takeaway you'll want to remember and share (repeatedly) with the boss is this,
As Mednick says, "Napping is not what lazy people do...It’s what people who are really effective and creative and self-regulating and conscientious do. Those are the type of people who nap.”