Many do not know that napping increases productivity. I started napping a few years back when I left a full time job that was very engaging all 24 hours. I found that my most productive hours were around the early hours of the morning which incidentally is when I wake up from sleep. By late morning I have started to slow down. If I stay the course, I burnout by late afternoon. My concentration is often very low by 3PM and I am not even good company. All kinds of trivia begin to get my attention. I found however, that if I take a nap, I get back into shape and produce more than I do if I keep pushing. If you think this a bad idea, don’t take my word for it. Here is a list of famous folks who took their naps seriously;
- Leonardo da Vinci took multiple naps a day and slept less at night.
- The French Emperor Napoleon was not shy about taking naps. He indulged daily.
- Physicist Albert Einstein napped each day—on top of getting ten hours of sleep each night.
- Though Thomas Edison was embarrassed about his napping habit, he also practiced his ritual daily.
- Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used to boost her energy by napping before speaking engagements.
- Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy,” routinely took naps in his dressing room between performances.
- President John F. Kennedy ate his lunch in bed and then settled in for a nap—every day!
- Oil industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller napped every afternoon in his office.
- Winston Churchill’s afternoon nap was a nonnegotiable. He believed it helped him get twice as much done each day.
- President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. to break his day up into “two shifts.”
- Though criticized for it, President Ronald Reagan famously took naps as well.
“The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time; it’s managing your energy.
It is possible these great know something you don’t. Here are 5 benefits of napping I picked up from Michael Hyatt’s article
- A nap restores alertness. You know how your energy dips in the early afternoon? You start feeling a little sleepy and lose focus. It happens to most of us. A quick nap can bring us back up to speed. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of twenty to thirty minutes “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”
- A nap prevents burnout. In our always-on culture, we go, go, go. However, we were not meant to race without rest. Doing so leads to stress, frustration, and burnout. Taking a nap is like a system reboot. It relieves stress and gives you a fresh start. Research subjects who nap show greater emotional resilience, improved cognitive function, and more. Just thirty minutes can prevent the day’s wear and tear from frying your circuits.
- A nap heightens sensory perception. According to Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, napping can restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste. Napping also improves your creativity by relaxing your mind and allowing new associations to form in it. When it came to making new connections, nappers had the edge in research done by the City University of New York.
- A nap reduces the risk of heart disease. Did you know those who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely! It’s true, according to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality,” said Dimitrios Trichopoulos of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the study.
- A nap makes you more productive. The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time; it’s managing your energy. Numerous studies have shown workers becoming increasingly unproductive as the day wears on. Just think of your own experience. But a 2002 Harvard University study demonstrated a thirty-minute nap boosted the performance of workers, returning their productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels.
Productivity is but the outworking of a state. If a nap brings you to that state then you really should have one. I often say in my workshops that high performance often comes out of effortlessness. Never out of struggle. Sometimes when I am struggling with something, I simply take a nap. When I come back, problem solved. It works for me every time. It is important that you understand your body enough to know when to get the best out of it. In this series I am exploring ways in which you can be more productive in your occupation and larger life and I have loads of material to share with you. Stay tuned and share this with someone.