National Napping Day: Paradigm Shift Needed To End Stigma

by Kim Boateng Posted on March 12th, 2018

Houston, Texas, USA: 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.” On National Napping Day, a paradigm shift is needed to end the stigma around napping famously indulged by the some of the world’s most successful people. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Donald Trump, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte and  Leonardo da Vinci are just a few of the more famous well known nappers.

Nappers are winners and ending the stigma around it will allow most nappers to ‘come out of the closet’, figuratively speaking, and enjoy their naps in peace. Needless to say the ‘second wind’ energy boost that results from short naps would mean increased productivity in the workplace.

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.

Benefits Of Napping

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.

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.

Finally, shift your own thinking about naps. People who take them are not lazy. They might just be the smartest, most productive people you know. More importantly, a paradigm shift is needed for employers to see the benefits of napping as a way to boost employee productivity. Employers would then allow and encourage employees to nap on the job.

That will also level the playing field to an extent. Why is it okay for ONLY top government officials – including presidents and justices – and company executives  to routinely nap on the job. Further down the human “food chain” and org charts you would get fired for doing the exact same thing that your bosses do everyday inside their closed offices. That needs to change.

By the way, it’s no coincidence that #NationalNappingDay follows Daylight Savings Time. Give that computer keyboard a break for a few minutes and take a nap. You deserve it. Tell your boss, Nigeria Circle News said so.

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