Napping is one of the best, most underused tools for busy people. It is frowned upon by many people and is viewing as something for the elderly and children. Mention napping and you could be seen as lazy, depressed and unwilling to work. The majority of people experience drowsiness in the afternoon and notice their productivity and mood starting to slip and napping will help combat this. It is completely natural and helps to fight the affects of fatigue such as burnout, stress and a lack of mental clarity.
Even though there seems to be a taboo on napping, there have been many famous nappers who swear by the midday snooze to keep them awake and alert. Famous nappers have included Richard Branson, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Winston Churchill and Leonardo da Vinci. No one can claim that these people didn’t achieve anything and spent all day napping.
Research on napping is constantly showing positive effects. The results suggest that napping can make you more alert, reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning compared to working all day without rest. A mid-afternoon sleep means that productivity can last long into the night. Researchers at NASA showed that a 30-minute power nap increased cognitive functioning by 40%. The volunteers on the tests found that their memory improved as well as experiencing an increase in concentration. Those who didn’t nap would score lower on IQ test than those that did (after a day of work).
If you feel a slump in the afternoon and from then on don’t perform at your best, I recommend taking a short power nap to get yourself feeling alert and ready for work. You will feel rested and you’ll notice your mood and alertness improve. I advise keeping the nap between 15 and 30 minutes as you want to avoid getting into deeper stages of sleep. If you do, you’ll find it harder to wake and may experience the groggy feeling for a while.
For those who are worried about the after affect of a nap, there is the caffeine nap. A caffeine nap is taken after an intake of caffeine, so that you are asleep while your body digests the caffeine. After a 15-30 minute nap, you wake up and instantly have the caffeine in your system. This is great if you instantly need to be on the move after a nap, and you can bounce out of your sleeping state and jump into work feeling refreshed and energised.
Finding 15-30 minutes in a day can sometimes seem difficult, but doing so could mean a great deal to your productivity. Even 10 minutes a day will be better than nothing at all, and may give you the energy you need to be successful. If you’re willing to give it a try, make sure you can find a comfortable place (both physically and mentally) before setting your head down. If you can feel secure and let go, then you’re rest will be even more beneficial.
A lot of people who wish to start their own businesses but are currently working 9-5 will benefit from a nap. The majority of the work on their own business will be done after 5pm and it is hard to stay enthusiastic and inspired at this time. Taking a nap during a break at work or just after finishing work could effectively increase your concentration levels and allow you to keep working, allowing you to further your own business after the 9-5 grind.
Try this for a few days and see if you see the benefits. I did, and now I’m off for a nap!