Take a nap

In Todays Washington Post – naptime:

Some new studies make dramatic claims for it. Taken in the workplace, naps can increase productivity and reduce “general crabbiness,” according to a just-concluded 25-year survey of the practice in industrial countries. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel showed daytime nappers doing better at retaining a newly mastered skill — bringing a thumb and forefinger together in a certain sequence — than a control group whose members slept only at night.

Experiments conducted by Matthew A. Tucker of Harvard Medical School suggest that a 45-minute nap can enhance the ability to perform tasks relying upon memory. And Dimitrios Trichopoulos, also at Harvard, has found that among a sample of 23,000 adult Greeks, habitual nappers were 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease.

There is even anecdotal evidence that napping can enhance creativity, including a charming confession made by Salvador Dali. To prime the pump for his surrealist paintings (the melting watch, the human leg with a built-in chest of drawers, etc.), the Catalan-born artist used to take — and abort — a nap after lunch. He would sit down with his arms extending beyond the chair’s arms. In one hand he would grasp a key between thumb and forefinger. After he fell asleep, his fingers would relax, the key would fall to the floor, the clatter would wake him up, and he would harvest the wild associations common to the first few minutes of sleep.

I’m a believer. A ten minute power nap can put me into a refreshing “time warp.”

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3 thoughts on “Take a nap

  1. andy gr says:

    Love the website – sorry it’s taken me so long to find it!

    I’m going to go upstairs and have a lie down now (seriously). I’ll let you know if it helped.

  2. andy gr says:

    Hmmm. Nice, but for 10 mins nap it took be twenty minute’s just lying there trying to sleep. Maybe being in a cold country doesn’t help.

  3. Ben says:

    Andy, thanks for stopping by. Long time no hear from. Maybe you actually lead a balanced life without a huge sleep deficit. On days I get enough sleep, the 10 minutes is just a good relax; I sometimes can’t sleep then either.

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