Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I've had plenty of jobs where I've said—only half-jokingly—that a nap lounge should be installed. I always found that early afternoon crash hard to get through.

Well, a column published on Yahoo! Health confirms that there's good reason for napping.

Apparently, “power naps” ranging from 5 to no more than 30 minutes (depending on the person) have benefits including “enhanced cognitive function, better reaction time, more patience, stress relief, and better overall health,” as well as being “one of the best ways to lower stress on your heart”.

In societies descended from Northern Europe, napping is seen as a sign of sloth. Yet there have been many famous people who napped, including “some of the best minds in history, such as Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Thomas Edison”. Those people were certainly not lazy slackers.

In a post last February, I mentioned a CBS News report that 15 percent of 24-hour US companies were encouraging naps. So, at least some companies see the value of napping.

Even so, despite the evidence of napping's benefits, the examples of highly-productive nappers and the companies that value both, I don't expect our culture as a whole to suddenly see the light. I used to share that dominant view. When I was younger, I hated the idea of napping and thought it was a waste of time. Now that I'm a bit older, I see the attraction as well as the value—and I find naps come much easier than they used to.

At least now I can say that I'm working on my health—as long as it's not at work, of course.


d said...

I love napping!! Unfortunately, when I nap, it's often for at least 1 1/2 hours -2 hours. And I sleep like the dead! Once I'm out, forget trying to get me up before the 1 1/2 hour mark!

Arthur Schenck said...

I've certainly come to appreciate naps, but if I slept that long I'd be out of it the rest of the day!