I always seem to be tired to some extent. Some days it is worse than others. We all know what I’m talking about.
I used to be a staunch supporter of not napping. In the past, my experience with naps had been less than stellar. My process was very unintentional and I would spend hours asleep during the middle of the day only to wake up groggy and completely out of whack. Not to mention that when it actually came time for bed, I couldn’t fall asleep for hours. I would just stare at the ceiling. I felt awful, so I decided for a long time to refuse naps. I would always find something else to occupy my time.
Well, I am here to tell you that I have seen the light and I am now a changed man. I love naps now and I would be lost without them. In the last couple of years I have discovered, like many other things in my life, if I just apply even a little intentionality to my naps, it can change everything. One simple change revolutionized my world.
Setting an alarm.
Mind-blowing, right? I just never took the time to set an alarm in the past. I figured I would wake up when I was well and ready. I had heard raving reviews from people online about taking 20-30 minute “power naps”, so I decided to give it a shot. Sometimes I don’t even fall asleep, but just closing my eyes and resting for 25 minutes is insanely energizing.
According to thesleepjudge.com, “a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.” So, why not give it a shot? It has absolutely worked for me. Something else to consider is that “more than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep for short periods throughout the day. Humans are part of the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning that our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness” – thesleepjudge.com. We are the tiny part of the mammalian population that sleeps in one large chunk. Animals seem to have a pretty good system. I know more insomniac people than I do animals…
Here is my problem. I get an average of 6-7 hours of sleep a night. But, I am always very tired at the end of the day. And usually by noon I find myself struggling to keep my focus and not yawn. In am a juggernaut at work in the mornings. I get there by about 7AM and from that time until noon, when my rumbling stomach snaps me out of my zone, I don’t come up for much air. I work straight through and get tons done. But after the midpoint of the day, regardless of whether I eat or not, I always find myself getting heavy eyelids.
I begin to crave sleep in the early afternoon. Some days I can power through. But, I have discovered the simple solution to this problem. Again, naps at work are the solution. 20-30 minutes sitting in the dark in my office with my eyes closed fixes things. It doesn’t matter if I am sitting at my desk or laying on the floor; I need that time to rest. If I am able to fit naps at work in, it makes an enormous difference in the rest of my day. On days when I get those 20-30 minutes, as soon as that time is over, I hit the ground hard again for another few hours. I generally only work a few more hours, but I am positive I could go another five hours without a second thought. When I don’t get naps at work, I tend to struggle through the rest of the day. It could be drooping eyes, getting distracted easier, or just not being as efficient on the tasks at hand, but it’s obvious that my quality of work has dropped.
Do you have similar experiences? Do short naps at work give you the boost you need to conquer the rest of the day? Would having a structured nap time at work be beneficial to your job performance?
I emphatically say, “Yes”.
If we ever get enough space in our office, I am going to go buy a cot to put in the corner. Or when I start my business, I will make sure we have a dedicated naps at work space where we encourage employees to take a breather before tackling the big parts of their day!
What about you? Do you think I am off my rocker? Are naps a waste of time or beneficial? Would you like to have the option in your workplace? Let me know in the comments!