Daily naps promote alertness, focus, and clarity of thought. Despite that fact, most people don't take them.
Personally, I use half my lunch break each day to nap for 20-25 minutes, using my Jawbone UP‘s power nap feature to wake me. I work from home, so I lay down in my bedroom. When I come back to work, I'm refreshed, invigorated, and have a new perspective for any challenges I'm facing.
Everyone has their own excuses for not napping, but the benefits are clear. Here are the most common objections:
- I don't have time to nap. It may seem that way, but napping can actually free up time in your day. After a good nap, you're typically refreshed and more productive. That means you can get more done in less time. As well, you can get away with less sleep at night if you nap every day.
- Napping will just make me more tired. It's true, if you nap for the wrong length of time you'll only be more tired once you're done. A power nap of 10-20 minutes is all you need, but if you sleep any longer you have to go the full 90-minute REM cycle to avoid grogginess.
- Napping is for children. Some of the most influential men in history took naps on a regular basis, including Thomas Edison, Leonardo de Vinci, and Winston Churchill. In Japan today, nap-takers are considered the hardest workers, and throughout many places in Latin America entire towns shut down so everyone can enjoy their afternoon siesta.
- I'm not tired enough to nap. Napping isn't just about physical rest. When you disconnect from computers & other screens to lay somewhere quiet with your eyes closed, you give your brain a chance to wind down. That's when your mind best stores information, sorts your thoughts and clears mental distractions.
- I don't have a good place to nap. You may not be lucky enough to have a bed in the next room, but that doesn't mean napping is out of your reach. All you need is a quiet area or some good earplugs, and you can lay on a couch, blanket, or the back seat of your car. Some people even take naps under their desk.
If there's a will, there's a way. Once you're ready to commit to daily nap-taking, make the extra effort to commit and you won't regret it.
Do you take regular naps? Why or why not?