Friday FYI: The Legal Performance-Enhancer
By Maria Popova
SHEEP AT WORK
Da Vinci took it. Edison took it. Lance Armstrong takes it any chance he gets. We’re talking about the power nap. Research in recent years has confirmed the tremendous recuperative value of power naps in improving our everyday quality of life. Here’s the low-down on how to go down.
- Less stress
- Higher productivity
- Better memory and learning capacity
- Improved creativity and motivation
- Heart and brain health
- Stable energy levels
- Improved alertness and focus
- Between 2 and 3pm is ideal
- Napping later makes you more likely to fall into deep sleep and wake up groggy
- Ideally, 20-30 minutes — the perfect duration to recharge both muscles and memory capacity, purging your brain of useless information build-up and opening up more space in your long-term memory tank
- You can also try a nano-nap (10-20 seconds, just putting your head down) or a micro-nap (2-5 minutes) for a quick kick at sleepiness
- Avoid high amounts of caffeine, fat or sugar 60-90 minutes before your nap time (and at all times, really, but we won’t judge)
- Try to darken your nap area or put on one of those dorky eyeshades — helps your body produce melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone
- Don’t forget to set an alarm — if you oversleep on a nap, you may end up less Energizer Bunny and more Easter Bunny from The Shining
And don’t forget to pass this on to your boss — that way, you can point the finger our way when she raises a could-be-disapproving-could-be-inquisitive eyebrow at your eyeshade. Now, go. It’s almost nap time.
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Published June 27, 2008