Monday, September 23, 2013

(Related update): I'm convinced; see you in 24 minutes

Related Update: Seems I posted on a currently popular topic.  Here's a link to an article with lots of insightful points about napping, including this:
In addition to those recommendations, one surprising suggestion is to sit slightly upright during your nap, because it will help you avoid a deep sleep. And if you find yourself dreaming during your power naps, it may be a sign you're sleep deprived.
Original Post:  io9 has a really terrific article on the tremendous benefits of afternoon naps.  There's so much in the article that I didn't know: for example, did you realize that 85% of mammal species sleep more than once a day?  (My cat, Dmitri, sleeps 85% of each day!).  The article also suggests that "power naps" (10 to 30 minutes in length) are the most beneficial and efficient since they convey many benefits while avoiding the grogginess that accompanies longer naps.  I've monitored myself and know that nap cycles of 11 minute intervals work best for me.  So I like 24 minute (two minutes to fall asleep) power naps.  From the io9 article:
Power naps can alleviate our so-called sleep deficits, but they can also boost our brains, including improvements to creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. They help us with math, logical reasoning, our reaction times, and symbol recognition. Naps improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Not only that, napping is good for our heart, blood pressure, stress levels, and surprisingly, even weight management.
There is so much more of interest in the article including a link to a sleep researcher giving a TED talk, results of various research studies on the effects of naps, and a section on how critically important an afternoon nap is for children.  Great stuff, strongly recommended.