Many European and tropical countries have afternoon siestas because of the extreme heat – but that’s not the only reason! They are recognizing the benefits of taking a few hours to rest after eating lunch each day. But if you live here in the United States, and are found napping at your desk…..your boss probably wouldn’t be happy and your co-workers would probably think that you are not meeting your job expectations!
We live in a time when more and more of us are completely “sleep deprived” (enter a yawn here…) We lead more stressful lives and we work longer hours at our jobs and in our homes. For some of us, all it takes is for us to sit down longer than 5 minutes and we are out like a light!
Did you know that we are one of the few mammals who have two distinct wake/sleep cycles each day? Most mammals nap on and off throughout the day. (Just take a look at your cat or dog throughout the day….those lucky dogs are napping!)
Your body’s circadian rhythms control many of your body’s natural processes, such as your heartbeat and breathing. You generally feel a normal circadian plunge in energy around 2:00-4:00 each day. Now I know that not everyone has the luxury of stopping what they are doing and having a little siesta! But the good news is this: research suggests that a simple 10-20 minute nap will relieve the tiredness that results from that energy dip.
Many employees feel healthier, happier and more productive after a brief power nap and some companies are actually setting up “napping rooms” to encourage a mid-afternoon break, complete with beds, reclining chairs, blankets, alarm clocks and clean linens!
So, whether you work full time or are at home with the kids all day, taking a quick power nap might be just what the doctor (that would be me) ordered!