Call it a siesta, forty winks, or shut-eye. Or be cool and call it a micro or power nap.
I mean, there’s a reason my yoga mat fondly reminds me of the napping mat we had in kindergarten – so I always feel like ditching exercising for a quick snooze.
Recent research shows that taking naps of less than 30 minutes improves our sense of well-being, as well as boosting performance. More than 1,000 people took part in the study, conducted for the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
You don’t have to tell me twice. I’m so good at napping I can do it with my eyes closed!
Says Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire (who truly is a wise man like his name in my opinion): “Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative, and these new findings suggest … that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap.”
In other words, combine nap and happier – and let’s all get nappier!
Employers take note. Another study by NASA on sleepy military pilots found that taking a 26-minute nap while the co-pilot was in control boosted alertness by more than 50 percent. Doesn’t everyone want more productive and happier employees? So, if you catch us sleeping at the desk – leave us alone!
Actually, a lot of famous people have been known to nap.
Albert Einstein claimed he needed daytime naps to fuel his marvelous brain.
JFK enjoyed afternoon naps with his lovely wife by his side. Jackie even advised his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, to take up the habit.
And Leonardo DaVinci believed in 15 minute naps every four hours. On the other hand, DaVinci didn’t believe in sleeping much at night, claiming we all have lots of time to sleep after we die. Now that’s a depressing thought. Let’s move on.
In fact, there is a downside to this napping study. The research found that those who took longer naps were less happy than those who did not nap at all. Sorry to say, too much napping is associated with an 82 percent increase in the risk of heart disease.
Go ahead, pop my bubble.
As a Minion meme states: “Naps are tricky because you either wake up refreshed and relaxed or you have a headache, dry throat and you are unaware of what year you’re in.”
True, true. But still, I’m sticking with the main message of this study that shows a short power nap will make you happier. I’m a believer!
Images courtesy of FrameAngel and imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.