We all agree that we are not getting enough sleep.
In my younger days I was a great believer in cat napping at lunchtime for 15/20 minutes. It is now known as power napping.
I found that taking a timeout to sleep during the day gave a quick energy boost. Research now shows that it also has cognitive and health advantages.
Studies are showing that naps can restore our attention, the quality of our work, while also helping us reduce our mistakes. It also improves our ability to learn while on the job.
Power naps can alleviate our sleep deficit and boost our brains, including improve our creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. They also help us with maths, logical reasoning, our reaction times, and symbol recognition.
Naps improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. It is also good for our heart, blood pressure and stress levels.
A power nap happens during the day ideally between 1 and 4 PM and lasts between 10 and 30 minutes. Any longer and you run the risk of developing “sleep inertia” — the unpleasant groggy feeling that takes a considerable amount of time to shake off. And naps later than 4 PM can disrupt your regular sleep.
- 6 minute naps can improve your ability to recall facts and knowledge.
- A 45 minute nap literally lowers blood pressure.
- 60 and 90 minute naps are also good for cognitive memory processing and can aid in creativity and emotional and procedural memory respectively.
A 2007 study found that people who napped at least three times per week for an average of 30 minutes a day had a 37% lower chance of dying from a heart-related disease.
Many companies are now realising the benefits that can arise from staff napping and are facilitating it.
So start napping now.
And if your accountant is droning on and putting you to sleep take advantage of it but try and keep your eyes open to avoid offence!