I know what doctors say, but 8 hours of sleep is not nearly enough to keep you going all day, especially when you have loads of work to do or you have a particularly comfortable bed. That’s why the higher powers created naps, I think, to give us some extra time to dream about talking animals or childhood memories. On the off-chance that any of you are non-believers in naps (an absurd assumption, I know, but there are some haters out there, I’m sure of it), here are some reasons why naps are the greatest thing since sliced bread:
1) Naps make you more alert.
Studies have shown that short naps can essentially restart your brain, allowing you to become more aware of your surroundings and your decision-making. On a scale of “performance boosters,” naps are just ahead of coffee, tied with apples (an apple a day really can keep the doctor away, at least, better than your regular cappuccino can), and a few steps behind that drug from Limitless.
2) Naps are linked with boosts in motivation and performance.
Unsurprisingly, naps are shown to increase your energy upon waking, allowing you to complete whatever tedious task had put you to sleep in the first place. Your pre-nap blues will be replaced by a lively sense of confidence that can really make a difference before an important conference or presentation. In fact, many workplaces have jumped on the napping bandwagon. Google Inc. even has “napping pods” in their national headquarters, allowing workers to get some shut-eye or just relax whenever they need.
3) Naps: they’re good for you!
Health experts everywhere agree that naps are incredibly beneficial all around. According to studies, naps can…
– Reduce stress and anxiety levels.
– Lower blood pressure.
– Increase memory processing. (Can’t remember your coworker’s name? That’s a sign that a nap is long overdue.)
– Decrease risk of heart disease.
– Prevent you from burning out.
– Lessen the chances of you hating everyone.
(A list within a listicle?! Revolutionary, I know.) That last one is not scientifically proven, per se, but it is definitely a benefit.
4) Naps make you more pleasant to be around.
Actually, while we’re on the subject, naps can act as a temporary mood booster, so if you’re normally privy to firing your staff, a quick nap can reduce your daily “firing quota” from a department a day to maybe one or two people. It might not be much but at least you’ll still have some workers by the end of the month, which should count for something.
5) Naps are short, so they don’t take up too much time.
Ideally, naps should last around 20 to 30 minutes, just long enough to give you an energy bump but not long enough to make you feel groggy. Just think: that 20 minutes you spent procrastinating on Facebook could’ve been used to reduce the risk of heart disease, increase your mood, and help your productivity! That seems worth missing out on another Facebook status about finals week or gym time.
6) Famous people take naps.
Winston Churchill, Lyndon Johnson, JFK, Thomas Edison, Salvador Dali, and Ronald Reagan were all proponents of napping. In fact, when asked about his habit, Churchill once said: “Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.” Here’s the way I see it: Thomas Edison was successful. Thomas Edison loved to nap. Therefore, taking naps will lead to success.
7) Naps can give you great ideas.
It makes sense that Dali and Edison were both fans of napping, considering they’re both known for bestowing the world with brilliant ideas. As we know, sleeping can result in good, sometimes weird, but also sometimes helpful dreams. Many sleep experts (not experts at sleeping but doctors who study sleep patterns) suggest keeping a journal at your beside to document your dreams, as most people forget 90 percent of their dreams within the first 10 minutes of waking.
8) Naps give you an excuse for alone time.
Too much human interaction in one day can send my anxiety levels through the roof but sometimes, it’s just too difficult to find alone time in the workplace. As a result, I’m forced to find other ways to isolate myself, like taking long strolls to the water fountain, washing my hands for abnormally long periods in the bathroom, and inspecting each and every mug in the office kitchen cabinet. (If I’m going to be looking at the same mug of coffee all day, I might as well find one I like.) Naps offer an easy excuse to get away from other human beings and retain your sanity, if only for 20 or 30 minutes.
I’ve only scratched the surface on this subject so tell me: why else should we take more naps?
Featured image via Kulfoto.com.