Napping and Nappers!
I’m a napper! In fact if napping were an Olympic event I could probably represent my country!
I haven’t yet concluded if napping is a learned skill, a habit or simply something innate, something with which we’re born; doesn’t alter the fact that I’m good at it.
This is not something new for me, I’ve done it for the last thirty years or so but never having studied it or consciously considered the benefits. When I used to work for a living, some time in my faded past, it was not unusual for me to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Close and lock my office door, stretch out on the couch, set my alarm and snooze for thirty minutes. When managing a business comprised of three shifts in two different time zones it was a boon and made the fifteen hour days easy.
Today I might “nap” two or three times a day, never for more than fifteen or twenty minutes, perhaps that is the reason I can get by with five or six hours sleep per night. I’ve been known to doze off at the dinner table after having finished………….never with company of course.
Talking of “company” I’m in good company. For some very ‘serious people’ the afternoon nap was sacrosanct. Winston Churchill admits he was a night bird but without his afternoon nap he could not have put in the prodigious work hours. He once said that the Battle of Britain was won by the “few” but his rhetoric was enhanced by his afternoon nap. John F. Kennedy took a nap every afternoon and White House staff was instructed that he never be disturbed. In fact his wife joined him in bed every afternoon. Bonaparte took a daily nap. It was said that he could sleep within the sound of the cannon’s roar. The list is in fact endless but the common denominator is it enabled these people to work incessantly and to get the most out of the hours available to them……two more come to mind…..Lyndon B. Johnson and Thomas Edison.
Today there are innumerable studies on the subject, the different levels of sleep, the duration and their impact on the brain. All far too technical for me, all I know and care about is that napping is not an “old man’s” game but rather a way to plug in your battery, re-charge yourself and get the most out of the time you have available.
Below is an excerpt from a technical “napping” article but like I said…..just go for it…..Happy Napping!
If you can’t find extra time at night, daytime naps can be one way to treat sleep deprivation, says Sara C. Mednick, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping,” she says. “You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.”
The length of your nap — and the type of sleep you get — helps determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap — sometimes called the stage 2 nap — is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.
What happens if you nap for more than 20 minutes? Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problem