Infants do it. Toddlers do it. The elderly do it. Cats and most in the animal kingdom do it.
Taking a daily nap is important no matter what age you are. Most people don’t get the recommended 8 hours of sleep at night, so a nap can recharge your battery. Besides, who wouldn’t want to take a nap?
Napping has its benefits, and here are just a few:
- boosts awareness
- increases creativity
- improves learning and memory
- reduces stress
- improves productivity
- mood enhancer
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that a nap lasting up to 30 minutes can “reduce mistakes and accidents.” It would seem that most businesses would want their employees to nap.
According to the Foundation, there are 3 kinds of naps:
- Planned napping (also called preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. This is used when you know you need to be up later than usual or as a way to prevent getting tired earlier.
- Emergency napping occurs when suddenly you become sleepy and can’t keep your eyes open. This often happens when you are engaged in a repetitive activity and is dangerous when driving or operating machinery.
- Habitual napping is when a person takes a nap at the same time every day. Babies and young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.
The best time to nap is usually after lunch from 1p to 3p, and it’s not recommended to nap later than this. So you’re tired and want to take a nap. Well, if you’re lucky like us, you work out of your home and it’s no problem to close your eyes. Obviously you need a comfortable place to lie down, a blanket, and a darkened room if possible.
But what to do if you’re in an office not at home and you need to close your eyes?
The list of companies that allow napping in the workplace is growing. Ben & Jerry’s, Google, AOL, Nike and Pizza Hut are just a few of the big companies that allow it. In fact, some of them actually have dedicated nap rooms.
If your place of work doesn’t allow naps yet, you can put your head on your desk or prop your head with your hand and take a 20 minute power nap. You risk being caught by your boss, but a scolding would probably be the worst. Or you could always go to your car and get some zzzzz’s.
Napping isn’t for everyone. Some feel groggy and disoriented after sleeping during the day. And some find napping makes it harder to fall asleep at night.
So – whether or not you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep – if you’re sleepy and thinking of a nap, try it!