Posts Tagged ‘Nap’

Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Take A Nap

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Sleep is more than just a restorative for a weary body. It is the process that our brains use to sort and store memories and information and to repair the body. You are lying to yourself if you say, “I need to sleep less to get more done.”

The opposite is what’s true: you’ll get more done AND feel better if you sleep more. One of the best ways to become more productive across a long work day is to take a nap.

A nap is not a failure. A nap is a recognition of how our bodies and minds work. Much of how we sleep and how long we let ourselves sleep is contrary to our needs. Modern life has given rise to the lie that successful, productive people “get by” on very little sleep, perhaps as little as 4-6 hours a day. But both sleep and anthropological studies tell us that humans need eight hours of sleep AND naps to achieve peak functionality.

A thirty minute nap might make the difference between an afternoon that drags on, with you struggling to get anything done, versus a productive, enjoyable afternoon. If you’re tired you might find it difficult to remember what you’ve done in detail and if you did things right. You might wrestle with decisions that should have been easier to make. Why? Because your brain needs a break. You need to let your systems process what you’ve learned during the day.

You need a nap.

I recommend taking three naps during the day: a short one, a “cat nap” late in the morning, another after mid-afternoon, and a restorative, longer nap to make the transition between afternoon and evening.  You may find that a single nap after lunch, a siesta, gives you renewed energy and clarity of mind to power you through the afternoon.

Quit kidding yourself. You need more sleep. A nap may be just the thing to help you get more done.

In Praise Of The Nap

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

One of the great joys in life is sleep. Not only is it a restorative to the weary body and mind, but it also sharpens our memories and refreshes our ability to think and concentrate. And one of the most pleasant and effective forms of sleep is the short nap.

“Oh boy…sleep!  That’s where I’m a Viking!”

Ralph Wiggums – The Simpsons

I find that most days a brief nap, late in the afternoon, gives me several more hours of alert performance. Just twenty minutes, maybe just ten, only long enough to let my mind go and fully release consciousness, is all I need to reenergize me.

In fact more, say a full hour, is likely to have the opposite effect. If I sleep that long I find it hard to wake up and feel sluggish for some time after. Just a short nap is what I need to prepare me for the remainder of the day.

Some of my best days have brief naps scattered across them. Ten minutes mid morning after a few solid hours of work and before switching gears. A few minutes on the couch after lunch.   A brief nap together with my wife before I start cooking supper. Altogether we might be talking thirty minutes of sleep and rest across the day, but because of it, I stay mentally sharp and full of energy.

I remember tales of my great grandfather, who use to have to take a nap before he went to bed or he wouldn’t be able to sleep. Our bodies and minds try to tell us when they need a brief break, but we often ignore that sound advice and attempt to push through. Why not just take a few minutes, a brief break, and enjoy a pause that refreshes far more than a soda.

See also Get Some Sleep!