I love naps! They are the spice of life. They keep me going. But have you ever felt guilty by taking naps in the middle of the day? Been at your desk for long periods and find yourself drifting off to sleep?
I’m writing this on a Sunday evening, after I’ve taken an hour nap. I feel great, like I could take on the whole world. Well, maybe just my task of writing this post. I will take short cat-naps each day. Now, this doesn’t happen everyday, but on occasion I find that if I close my eyes, place my keys or a pen in my hand and drift off to sleep. When the keys hit the floor, I know I’m done.
There are so many famous people who loved to nap. J. F Kennedy would nap everyday after lunch. Lyndon B Johnson would nap in the later half of the afternoon, so he would have two days in one. Even Thomas Edison napped in a habitual schedule each day.
Here are my four reasons why we should all take naps daily.
1. Naps will reduce your fatigue. Each day we grow so tired with each passing minute. So the best way to combat a tired mind is to take a short nap. Mayo Clinic recommends 10-30 minute naps. Any longer and you’ll feel groggy. Take them in the afternoon. Maybe after you’ve finished that lunch appointment. Head to your office, and snooze for a couple minutes. You’ll be amazed at your alertness for the second half of the day.
2. Naps could reduce heart disease. A study done on WebMD says “But our research suggests that the practice could help protect the heart, and we need further studies to find out if this really is the case.” If we take the time to care for our heart and health it is said that those who choose to nap at least 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of heart disease by 37%. That percentage is enough to convince me to nap more often.
3. A single nap can make you more efficient at your job. We all get so tired. It’s a go, go, go, world. Get this report done. Get this email sent, get this letter written. It doesn’t matter what we do in our areas of responsibility we get tired. In 2009, Harvard did a study that suggests taking a 20 minute nap on a daily basis can make you more productive at home and at work. IF you hit REM sleep, you’ll make better connections on projects and be more focused on tasks that must be done.
4. Taking a nap can reduce stress. Because of our hectic lifestyles, we run the risk of burnout. This can be the factor that either propels your church to success or causes you to shrink back and not even notice you’ve hit rock bottom until it’s too late. Michael Hyatt on this very topic says, “Taking a nap is like a system reboot. It relieves stress and gives you a fresh start.”
When we nap, we are shutting off and hitting reboot. You will find that taking a simple nap at your desk, in your car, on your couch or bed, if you work from home, will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul to a working point that is alert and energized to conquer even the most menial task.
You may think taking a nap makes you lazy. In fact the opposite is true. I heard recently that people who are successful will often take both naps and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. They go to bed at 9 pm and wake up at 5 am.
It’s time to follow the siesta format in our jobs. Imagine a world where every employer had a cot, in a dark room for you to use for 10 minutes in our work day? Maybe we’d have a happier work environment, a more productive environment and one that people are energized to see success and change in their communities.
So what are you waiting for? Go take your nap!