What do people think of when they first hear the word nap? Everyday sayings such as snatching a nap, being caught napping, snoozing, or stealing forty winks are all beneficial daily activities we need to add to our busy life. If we do, we will be more awake and capable to reach our full potential as an individual. People don’t realize how important a nap can be. Although popular beliefs suggest that naps are a waste of time, naps actually increase productivity by resting the brain.
In order to obtain the full benefits of the nap, there are certain “rules” that need to be followed. Following these guidelines will ensure maximum effectiveness. One condition is that naps should be taken in the early afternoon. Naps can interfere with the nighttime sleep if taken after 4 p.m. (Jacobs). They should also be short in length. Research suggests taking a fifteen to thirty five minute “power nap”. This is the time necessary for the body to rest and enables brain neurons to recuperate (“Unknown Benefits”).
Comfortable surroundings are an important part of a good nap. Clothing, everything from a tie to a pair of shoes, should be loose and, if possible, naps should be taken in a place free of interruption. Thoughts should be directed to relaxing activities, thoughts that are “pressure free”. It’s also important to not feel pressure to fall asleep. If the brain needs rest, falling asleep will come (“Mental Rejuvenation”).
EDIT Famous “Nappers”
Many great figures in history used nap necessities to near perfection. Winston Churchill was one such figure. He found naps to be imperative:” You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no half-way measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more.” (qtd. by Griffey 42) An afternoon nap helped him with his many responsibilities.
Leonardo da Vinci used naps so much that he didn’t need to sleep at night. Every two hours, he would take a fifteen minute nap. Many believe this contributed to his seemingly endless supply of creativity (Griffey 10). Thomas Edison would take one to two naps per day, and once turned a patron away because he was taking a nap (Griffey 73). Bill Clinton was known for taking naps whenever he could (Griffey 52). These famous figures dispel the myth that taking naps means ones lazy. They accomplished so much, yet knew their individual limitations. They gave full effort when frequent occasions required, but they also refused to run too fast. We can learn from their examples, and restore the nap to our everyday routine.
The Need for Naps
In today’s busy world, fatigue in the early afternoon is nearly normal. Many believe that this slump is caused by a heavy lunch. However, in reality, this occurs because we were meant to have a mid-afternoon nap (Jacobs). Those who take...