Natural Family Health Care
Many European and tropical countries have afternoon siestas because of the extreme heat, but also because they recognize the benefits of taking a few hours to rest after eating lunch each day. Elsewhere, those who are found napping at their desks are likely to be seen as not meeting job expectations.
Are there benefits to a brief afternoon nap? Well, at a point in time when more and more people are “sleep deprived” due to stressful lives and long hours at their jobs, the concept may very well be a good one. And nappers could find themselves in very good company – Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and Thomas Edison were all habitual nappers.
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 pet cat or dog!
Your body’s circadian rhythms control many of your body’s natural processes, such as heartbeat and breathing. You generally feel a normal circadian plunge in energy around 2:00 – 4:00 pm each day. Dr. Martin Moode-Ede, CEO of Circadian Technologies Inc, a Massachusetts firm that specializes in managing fatigue, recommends a 10 – 20 minute nap to relieve the tiredness that results from this 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, pillows, blankets, alarm clocks and clean linens!
Will this benefit catch on? Many companies are hesitant to introduce the idea of acceptable napping. Those who realize that their workers are more irritable, make more errors and are less creative when they are tired are far more open to the concept. Hopefully, it is an idea whose time will come!