Napping for productivity and health

March 26, 2007 § Leave a comment

Garfield Nap in an armchairJust like for a computer, logging off or shutting down for a few minutes clears the memory from residual , useless information, cools down the circuits, and saves the earth of some kilos of CO2 thrown up in the atmosphere by the electricity facilities.

For a human being a good nap does more than that. Men’s journal gathers together some information that will prove benefic for everybody. A few weeks ago I was reading about the benefits of a good nap at the office and that companies are fighting on creating the perfect office bed.

Take a look at this YouTube video so you know what’s all this about before proceeding to read the followings:

Here’s how to get a good nap:

  • 1 The first consideration is psychological: Recognize that you’re not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
  • 2 Try to nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.
  • 3 Avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, which meddle with a person’s ability to fall asleep.
  • 4 Instead, in the hour or two before your nap time, eat foods high in calcium and protein, which promote sleep.
  • 5 Find a clean, quiet place where passersby and phones won’t disturb you.
  • 6 Try to darken your nap zone, or wear an eyeshade. Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep- inducing hormone.
  • 7 Remember that body temperature drops when you fall asleep. Raise the room temperature or use a blanket.
  • 8 Once you are relaxed and in position to fall asleep, set your alarm for the desired duration (see below).

How Long Is A Good Nap?

THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.

THE MICRO-NAP: two to five minutes Shown to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.

THE MINI-NAP: five to 20 minutes Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.

THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).

THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.

If you were convinced then go ahead and present it to your boss. Get him convinced too. Perhaps while he’ll be on a good deep NAP you’ll be able to play Quake with your team mates.

And one more secret: after he gets up go yourself for a nap;)

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