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Napping Is Acceptable And Sometimes Required

18 June 2008 No Comment

How to nap

The Boston Globe recently wrote an article on how to nap. I know, do we really need an article or a how-to on napping? Don’t you just crash when you want and to hell with those who don’t agree? If it were only that easy…

Guys today view napping as weak and for those who can not keep up. They have been taught through the years that we are too busy and if we take time out to nap, we will fall behind. This is ridiculous.

There are so many of us, including me, that need permission to do this. If must give ourselves permission to follow the needs of our bodies. Use these studies and information in this article as your permission. If someone still says you are weak, just remember that you will wake up at somoe point and be ready to kick their ass in anything you engage with them on. You will be alert and rested to perform.

There is plenty of other reasons to follow this advice as well: perform better in bed; live longer; sleep better at night; increase your brain power; lose more weight; lower your blood pressure; the list goes on. So here are some guiding tips from this article and remember, give yourself permission to do what is right for you. Now that is manliness at its core.

Identify who you are
The article says you need to know your “chronotype”. This just means are you a late riser or early riser. If you wake up at 6 AM, you need to plan your nap earlier in the afternoon – around 1:30 PM. If you are a late riser around 7 AM, you need to plan your nap for later in the day – around 2:30 or 3:00 PM.

Stages of the nap

  1. Falling asleep
  2. Light sleep
  3. Deep, slow-wave sleep
  4. REM: Dreaming stage

The entire process repeats itself after about an hour and a half. This means you should plan this long for your nap. Of course, we might not have this much time, but this will optimize your napping prowess. If you cut it short, you will still get some benefit, but may hamper you in the short term just after your nap.

Steps to the perfect nap

  1. Find a safe, quiet, comfortable place where you can lie down (it takes about 50% longer to fall asleep while sitting upright)
  2. Have a light blanket around in case you get cold
  3. Set an alarm (VERY IMPORTANT if you are doing this doing your workday)
  4. Darken the room or use eye shades for optimal deep sleep
  5. Breathe slowly and deeply. Fall into a meditation where you are relaxing every muscle group in your body – one group at a time
  6. Use earplugs if noisy (but remember you must be able to hear that alarm!)
  7. Meditate to a very calm place and repeat something in your mind that calms you down

There was a 25 year study completed recently on the benefits of napping. They discovered that an astounding “92.5% of workers, after an afternoon nap, increased their productivity, creativity and problem solving capabilities.” They said every other animal on the planet naps and humans have not evolved past this basic need – or they have over-evolved. In any case, we need to naps for optimum productivity.

Just remember that napping is normal and oftentimes needed to optimize your performance in life. It is not weak and, if you have to, give yourself permission to take naps, then do it.

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