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Power Napping: You Snooze, You Win!

What do Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein all have in common?  They’ve all made important contributions to the advancement of mankind.  All are distinguished in their respective fields of endeavor.  And they were all avid power nappers.

It’s a favorite past time of babies and teenagers, and even some of our older friends.  It reduces stress, improves memory, makes you more alert, and helps you keep your brain at max performance over the long haul, among many other things.  When you start to fade, nothing beats a nap to perk you up.

William J. Clinton retired to his private quarters every afternoon at 3:00 for a 30-minute nap.   At least that’s what is being reported… (he always seemed to have a Daily Adventure).

Thomas Edison attributed his tremendous amount of energy to sleeping whenever he wanted.

In a six-year study of Greek adults, researchers found that men who took naps at least three times a week had a 37 percent lower risk of heart-related death.  Wondering whether this is a result of actually taking the nap or rather, the result of someone who has the time to nap during the day.  Being economically secure and having free time and less stress can certainly aid heart health.

Studies demonstrate that naps are as good as a night of sleep for some types of memory tasks.  There is a study which showed that a midday snooze reverses information overload.  On the other hand, 6 hours or less of regular sleep is estimated to triple your risk of a car accident.

Research at the Salk Institute has shown that napping benefits cell repair, heart function, and hormonal maintenance.  A power nap maximizes these benefits, by getting the rejuvenating effects in as short a time as possible.  The brain benefits as well.  A study done by NASA found that although naps don’t aid alertness, they do improve memory functions.

When Lance Armstrong was training for the Tour de France bicycle race, naps were an important part of his routine.

In Iraq, U.S. Marines were instructed to take a power nap before going on patrol.

Feeling a little sleep deprived?  Here a couple of useful hints:Girl napping

Nap consistently at the same time every day, even if it’s just a quick rest.

Many experts advise to keep the nap between 15 and 30 minutes, as sleeping longer gets you into deeper stages of sleep, from which it’s more difficult to awaken.  The key to taking a longer nap is to get a sense of how long your sleep cycles are, and try to awaken at the end of a sleep cycle.  It’s actually more the interruption of the sleep cycle that makes you groggy, rather than the deeper states of sleep.

Caffeine in coffee takes up to a half-hour to have an alerting effect, hence “a short (<15 min) nap will not be compromised if it is taken immediately after the coffee.”

And don’t forget to set the adventure alarm on your smartphone so you won’t be groggier than when you first shut your eyes.

Don’t be surprised when you leave a comment and you don’t get an immediate response.  I may be doing a little research…


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