We are all far too familiar with that time of day when we sit back down to work after lunch and our eyelids start to feel heavy. Most of us then make a coffee or tea to perk up and get back into the rhythm of work. However I have recently read an article that suggests to consider having a good old 'nanna nap' instead of reaching for that cup of goodness at the classic afternoon slump!
The article presented an interesting comparison of people to computers, where computers get sluggish and slow we would delete some files and possibly reboot. A nap acts in the same way for our brain. Studies conducted in the US have found that taking a nap is a 'valuable tool, making it easier to digest and retain new information' and has also been found to sharpen recall, helping us see the bigger picture and stimulating creative responses.
You may think you have no time for a midday nap however all you need is between 10 -15 minutes of the 'second stage' of sleeping which is after the initial light transitional phase of sleep and the third heavier stage of sleep. So getting to this second stage is where the true power of the nap lies. Anything longer than 30 minutes of shut-eye people were found to feel groggy.
To be able to get to this second stage of sleep as quickly and as painlessly as possible you should position yourself in a room that is as dark and quiet as possible with a constant temperature and find a space to lie down. David Overell cottoned onto the power of napping years ago and ensures he has a nap at the end of his lunch break every day where possible. He positions himself in one of our meeting rooms and lies flat on a yoga mat for around 10-15 minutes, with feet up on a chair at 90 degrees, and finds he is rejuvenated for the rest of the afternoon.
So next time you go and reach for that cup of coffee to get you through the day, consider taking forty winks and you won't regret it.