Make nap time the new coffee break. A quick snooze boosts productivity and improves memory and problem-solving.
Bill Anthony’s The Art of Napping at Work (1999) states that a shot of shut-eye was an indispensable afternoon pick-me-up for some of history’s greatest achievers, viz., Aristotle, Eleanor Roosevelt, John D Rockefeller, Leonardo da Vinci, Lyndon B Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon, Salvador Dalí, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill.
According to the University of California-Irvine sleep researcher Sara Mednick, you don’t want to get into a deep sleep because you need to be alert. Her Take a Nap! Change Your Life (2006) uses the term “sleep inertia” to describe the inability to shrug sleep off after a nap. This impaired state worsens as you go deeper and deeper into sleep. So the trick is to avoid getting deep sleep.
If you nap about twenty minutes, you’ll be in light sleep, which is easy to get out of. In other words, twenty minutes is long enough to reach Stage 2 sleep, but short enough to ward you off from waking up groggy.
Idea for Impact: Go ahead and snooze for 20 minutes, ideally sometime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. If you need help regaining alertness after the alarm goes off, step into bright light or splash your face with water. The post-nap energy spike can last for several hours.