Is Napping the Remedy for Low Productivity?

The author napping in the Virginia countryside.

The author napping in the Virginia countryside.

Last Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. I hit the halfway mark of a busy, productive week, and I'm beat. My day is far from over: I have an important meeting at 5:30 p.m. (in hindsight, the post 5:00 p.m. meetings may have to come to an end). Five years ago, I would have walked to the fridge and pounded a Red Bull. Last year, I would have made a double espresso and, you guessed it, pounded it. Last week, I took a nap.

In January, I wrote a musing on productivity and time management. I mentioned that you should "take a break (or power nap)." I still agree with this tip, but I would switch the order: "take a power nap (or a break)." Heck, if you can take a full nap (90 minutes), go for it.

Americans work hard (Washington, D.C. made the top 10). We study hard. We sleep poorly. We're smart people, but our focus on what matters is backwards. If we sleep well, we'll work smarter, not harder; if we sleep well, we'll pass that test, because REM sleep will move the information into permanent storage and sort through the complex information you just learned.

Naps don't make you lazy or unmotivated. They make you more alert, increase productivity, and feed creative curiosity. Let's take a page from Spain's culture and implement the siesta here in America. The daytime snooze follows our body's natural circadian rhythm. It's in our biology. Give it a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

What do you think? Are you a fellow napper? I'd love to hear your tips.

Happy napping!

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