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Why It’s a Good Idea to Nap at Work

Author: Jeannine McGlade   |   May 8th, 2010

Many say that taking a short snooze can do wonders for creativity.

Okay, I confess that the idea of sleep delights me, whether it’s a brief nap, forty winks or a prolonged swoon.   As authors and entrepreneurs, you might think that we have more freedom to control our schedules and therefore, catching some z’s would be easy.   However, we feel just as guilty about taking a “power nap” as our clients and corporate professionals.   So what do we do?

Our biggest creativity challenge comes after lunch. Over the years we have adopted a few different strategies to cope with the unavoidable lunch tranquilizer that beckons us toward a blissful state innovation strategiesof oblivion.

I have three strategies: lunch-lite, lunch-late, and lunch-long.

In its extreme form, lunch-lite involves substituting lunch in place of well, light.   We’ll take a walk outdoors and soak up some sun or a jaunt on the treadmill to boost our creative energy.  The main thing is we don’t eat.

The trouble is that the rest of the day we are likely to spend all our time dreaming about dinner. With lunch-late, we mean postpone lunch to avoid that early 1:00 pm-ish drowsy feeling.   With lunch-late, you might find yourself comatose by the time it is to go home and in the same position you would be at 1:00 or 2:00pm had you eaten earlier.

And finally there is lunch-long.  If you get tired after eating, the strategy is to keep eating.  Of course, if none of these work and you are increasingly frustrated with either starving yourself or increasing your gravity, then we recommend that you take a nap to boost your creative genius, what else?

Researchers say that napping is especially good when you are working on a problem because just as you dose off into oblivion, you start tapping into your lush alpha state where the seeds of creativity lay germinating and it is at this point where you are likely to have a spark moment.  Further more, researchers say that an afternoon nap can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack.   So in other words it is good for your health in addition to your creative matter.

Napping also makes sense when you are on a plane or on a train but it is not so cool when you are in the office.   There are so many norms about staying busy that napping seems like a forbidden practice while you are in the office.

Many studies have shown, that sleep deprived workers are bound to make numerous mistakes and accidents. So what do you do when sleep beckons you while the rest of your colleagues are busying themselves? Should you nap at work or not?  Our advice to that question is to, well, sleep on it.


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One Response to “Why It’s a Good Idea to Nap at Work”

  1. Andrew Haddleton Says:

    In my corporate days I often used to take a 15 minute nap at lunchtime. I used to wake refreshed and raring to go.

    What was odd was that I knew when to wake for the end of the lunch period even without an alarm.

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