Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Benefits of Napping

As someone balancing work and life, there are moments when it seems as if the only solution to my lengthy to-do list is a catnap. I know it sounds strange, but since I work from home, it's possible, and so tempting when it seems as if nothing - most notably my brain - is working quite right. Thus, I thought that a quick justification (ahem! I mean "review") of the benefits of a midday nap might be appropriate. Research shows the following:
  • Humans have a "biological readiness" to fall asleep in the mid-afternoon
  • An afternoon nap as short as 10 minutes can improve alertness, mood and mental performance
  • Afternoon naps are especially beneficial in sleep-deprived individuals
  • In many cultures, an afternoon nap is an expected part of the everyday schedule
Thus, I conclude that my afternoon nap (when I get it) is not laziness, but a necessary and beneficial part of living a high-performance lifestyle.

NOTE: in researching this article, I should mention that I learned that naps should be limited to 45 minutes and avoided after 4:00 p.m. to avoid grogginess and negatively impact evening sleep.

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