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Nap Time for Adults: How Important?

September 9, 2013
Plain English Version

Clock-wise from upper left: former vice-president, Dick Cheney; German prime minister, Angela Merkel; former president, George Bush, Pope Francis; former treasury secretary, Lawrence Somers; former British prime minister, Gordon Brown; former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi; former president, Bill Clinton.

Who doesn’t love a nap?

For many, a nap is almost the best time of day. The world is sleep-deprived. Pressures at home and on the job are the reasons. About one-third of people report not getting enough sleep at night. A nap is the answer.

The normal sleep cycle lasts between 90 minutes to two hours. In that period, sleepers go through light to deep sleep phases. Deep sleep is the phase from which sleepers arise groggy.

The 10-to-20 minute power nap (light sleep) is best for getting back to work. That is as much time as most of us have for a nap. In a regular day, the best time is around one-o’clock. In other words it can be done during lunch hour.

It takes longer to wake from 20 to 30 minute naps (medium sleep). But workers perform even better after them.

There are some tricks for napping and recovering. Experts say to drink a cup of coffee before napping. It won’t keep you from falling asleep, but will make it easier for you to wake-up. Another trick is to hold a pencil in your hand. It will usually drop after 10 to 15 minutes and prompt you to wake up. Also, do not nap lying flat. It is better to sleep partially upright.

All the sleep studies show that naps are beneficial. It makes memory sharper. It increases alertness. It makes you feel better. Work places are beginning to wake up to the fact that naps help increase productivity.

You may show this article to your boss.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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