A lot of research and productivity articles have testified to the wonderful discovery called napping. Though there are many types of naps, I prefer the 20-minute one, proven to provide improved alertness. I want to share five benefits I continually reap from napping.
It resets my day
Research shows that the first two hours of the morning are the most productive hours. During these hours, one is capable of eating frogs. However, the morning motivation wanes after office work, chores, or procrastination. By 11AM, I am out of juice! Napping gives me a reset button.
I typically take a 20-minute nap in the afternoon, an hour after lunch break. I set the alarm on my phone and try to steady my thoughts into rest. After some time, I hear a beeping sound – the signal that the second part of my day has begun. It is a redemption afternoon, good for completing the most urgent morning tasks or for catching-up on reading and refilling the idea repository.
It complements my sleep hours
Science has measured the required sleep hours humans need to function well. Typically, I incur 7 hours of night sleep, particularly now that I write at home. Some nights, though, I sleep late into the night; I may come home from heavy traffic or have a night-out with my girlfriend. In these cases, afternoon napping adds another 20-30 minutes to my sleep bank. The lacking sleep hours for the night before are supplemented by the nap minutes I get in the day.
It rests my eyes
Screens hurt the eyes – the windows that help behold the beauty of the world around us. I often write directly into my laptop for storage and pace purposes, exposing my eyes as long as my writing time is not finished. During five-minute Pomodoro breaks, one of my activities is closing my eyes to give them rest. By doing so, I take care of my eyes somewhat, however, after this exercise, my brain is still cluttered from the last session’s task. Napping increases the benefits, as, in connection with Point 1, it has added value to productivity than just closing my eyes while sitting.
It buffers personal time within the work day
I look at a day and divide it into three 8-hour phases: work, recreation, and rest. I try to respect the boundaries of these phases. I will not write professionally on my family time; I also prevent burnout by spending real hours on wasting time. However, because of the waning of motivation, exceptions are necessary. Napping gives me a pass for integrating rest time – personal time – into work time. Because I see napping as a reinforcement for motivation to accomplish my most important tasks, I give myself permission to let it pass.
It lines me up with productivity giants
Many of the best and most popular people in history value naps highly: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein. Google’s Julia Rozovsky proposed a nap room as a business venture. The Art of Manliness gives a glimpse of famous leaders going for a short snooze. I feel like I am in company when I tell others that I take afternoon naps.
I love naps!
Napping was one of the controversial topics Dr. Jose Rizal detailed in his “Indolence of the Filipino.” I echo Dr. Rizal: napping is a good reward for productivity. It has helped me accomplish more during the day and has helped me give my body a healthy boost for the night before.
Do you nap? Which benefits have I missed? Leave a comment!