Posted: May 4, 2012
"Power naps" have been part of the lexicon in the fast-paced business world for at least the past decade. I hardly consider myself part of a fast-paced world, but I know I can make the most of my waking day when I make time for an afternoon nap.
Most people would frown at the thought that the business owner is catching a short 20-minute snooze while at the workplace, so I make sure that I do my daytime resting within the confines of my home. The only barrier to a good after-lunch siesta is if the two male cats decide it's time to play rather than rest like good kittens.
As recently as just five years ago, an afternoon nap was a self-inflicted necessity. I needed the rest because it was usually the result of staying up too late the night before and/or having too much fun with friends when most others would have turned in for the night.
But as I've become older and wiser (emphasis on "older" ), I rely on a short nap to re-energize my thoughts and effort for the second half of my day. I don't dare doze off in the morning - it's too easy to sleep too long. I am also sure to only rest for about 20-30 minutes because I become too groggy if I sleep for a longer period of time.
Studies show that cognitive ability depends on how much sleep one accumulates over a 24-hour period, not just overnight. Short periods of work followed by sleep reinforcement allow people to enhance the creative thought process. At least that's what the studies indicate. All I know is that I function better when I am afforded the opportunity to doze off while resting on my back.
I'm not even sure if I am sleeping when I take a nap. Most of the time, I am consumed with thoughts when I lie down. But if I am able to cut my rest time to less than 30 minutes, I feel invigorated when I get up to complete the rest of my day.
As I prepare for tomorrow, I look at a packed schedule. Two morning sales calls, three important errands for home and office and a luncheon appointment. By the afternoon, I have more errands, phone calls to make to set up sales calls for next week and delivery of my newsletter to the post office. Tomorrow evening includes a long drive and a dinner engagement with phone calls in between to finalize plans for a volunteer activity next week.
For now, though, it's time for a nap. Hopefully the cats will cooperate.
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