How many times have you struggled to get through the day, wanting to just ignore the work on your desk and put your head down and fall asleep for just a few minutes? How many times have you, instead of giving in to your body’s needs, reached for that cup of coffee, bottle of soda, or sugary snack? In all likelihood, you are doing more harm than good. Yes, gone are the days when we came home from kindergarten and were made to take naps. Today’s world is full of hustle and bustle, rarely taking the time to rejuvenate and refresh ourselves, but all that hurried folly doesn’t meant that we should ignore our need for rest throughout the day. Many famous people took naps: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John D. Rockefeller, to name a few. I find it hard to believe that these people are wrong.
Luna agrees too. She loves to nap – almost all day. It’s well known that greyhounds are couch potatoes – sleeping most of the day – with short bursts of energy.
I’m not advocating sleeping the day away like Luna, rather, just taking power naps to refresh.
Life Lesson #3: Take Naps
According to the National Sleep Foundation:
Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
Short-term naps, about 10 to 20 minutes, are the generally accepted length for refreshment.
A recent study in the research journal Sleep examined the benefits of naps of various lengths and no naps. The results showed that a 10-minute nap produced the most benefit in terms of reduced sleepiness and improved cognitive performance. A nap lasting 30 minutes or longer is more likely to be accompanied by sleep inertia, which is the period of grogginess that sometimes follows sleep.
So next time you feel drowsy, find a quiet, comfortable place (even if it’s your car in the parking garage at work) set the alarm on your phone, close your eyes, and enjoy. Or, you could cuddle up with your greyhound, and share the love.