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Time For A Nap

Updated on December 5, 2011

Your eyelids are getting heavy and you are starting to feel restless and drained. You look at the clock. Yup, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon. The time when all you want to do is go to sleep; a perfect time for a nap.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center, one-third of U.S. adults nap on a typical day.

“It is an important activity to be involved in the middle of the day,” says psychologist Dr. Gary L. Goldberg. “A lot of physiological changes prefer our body to take a nap.“

These physiological changes provide evidence to the testament our body is getting ready for a nap in the middle of the day and that is why the initial 2:30 drowsy feeling overcomes you.

“Researchers concluded that when you go to sleep there is a drop in body temperature,” says Goldberg, the 30-year psychology veteran. “In the afternoon this happens, which is readiness to take a nap.”

There are many benefits to taking a small nap during the middle of the day, like more energy and productiveness. However there can be negative drawbacks, like waking up and feeling even more tired than when you went to sleep. So, how do you counteract the negative? By taking the perfect duration of nap that will give you the energy you need, without feeling groggy after.

“The key is to not let it last 45 minutes,” says Goldberg. “After that, you go into deep sleep stages of three and four and, for most people, if you are woken up in these stages you will feel groggy.”

As Goldberg explained, stage one and two (which you are experiencing in about the first 30 minutes of sleep) are the lighter stages of sleep. For the first stage, a person becomes drowsy and in a relaxed state, kind of like they are experiencing a situation like daydreaming. For the second stage, a person becomes more detached from the outside world, but can also be easily awakened. Being in these two stages will give you that power nap you need to carry on with your day. The key is to be careful about the amount of time you nap.

“Even naps as short as 10 minutes are very helpful,” says Goldberg. “It enhances alertness and mental awareness.”

In fact, some companies even encourage you to hit the snooze button on your body during a typical work day.

According to a video report by CBS News in 2007, companies, like Strawberry Frog ad agency, are installing nap time pods to help employees recharge their batteries. Check out the full video here.

There have been further reports of companies allowing nap-time pods at work to increase productivity. BusinessWeek reports that companies like Nike and Google are participating in napping activities to help increase productivity and creativeness.

“It enhances the cerebral cortex,” says Goldberg about mid-day naps. “Memory, decision making and problem solving increase and you get a feeling of energy and vitality.”

There you go, now you have a case for your boss to grab some midday zz’s; a more productive and creative you.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Kimberly . . .today is May 15. It is 12:21 p.m, CDST and I am, after reading THIS GREAT HUB AGAIN . . .getting very sleepy.

      Thanks for your words having so much power.


    • Kimberly Turner profile image

      Kimberly Quevedo 5 years ago from New Jersey

      @ SteveW13 I just took a nap yesterday and made sure it wasn't over 45 minutes and I felt 110 percent better! I am so glad that you are finding them effective in short bursts as well! Thanks for your comment.

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 5 years ago from Norwich, England

      I love my sleep, and often take a nap in the afternoon. So true that when you get towards the hour mark and over it makes you feel worse when you wake up. Great hub and voted up!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Kimberly, Dear Friend, Talented Hubber, Kimberly! YOU are most welcome. Anytime. YOU are not only a God-gifted writer, but a GENUINE friend to me. That goes a long way with me. I just hope I can be as good to you as you have been to me. Yes, THIS nub DID make me feel good. Thanks for caring. Kenneth

    • Kimberly Turner profile image

      Kimberly Quevedo 6 years ago from New Jersey

      @kenneth— Thanks for your comment! I am so sorry you are not feeling better, but I hope that my article gave you a feel good moment! I look forward to more of your hubs as well!

    • Kimberly Turner profile image

      Kimberly Quevedo 6 years ago from New Jersey

      @NiaLee— I'm glad you enjoyed it! There are definitely many negatives to not getting enough sleep. Even if it is just being cranky! And who wants to be cranky!?

      @carcro— Happens to the best of us right! I'm glad you liked my article!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      on 12/7, hello, Kimberly! Voted UP and away on this delightful hub. I LOVED it. Naps are one of my hobbies. Thanks for sharing this with us. And I apologize for not being here more to read your amazing hubs. I am not in good health and working to finish some stuff in case it worsens. I do value and and thank YOU for following me. Honest. Have a Merry Christmas and I will try to be back more often. Kenneth

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      Great info here on the importance of taking naps. I wish our jobs would allow for that, but I would fall out of my chair. I know cause its happened, talk about a shock to wake up on the floor with your co-workers laughing at you, Hahaha. Thanks for the info, voted uP!

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 6 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Thank you Kimberly for that great hub that reminds us of something very important: sleep. Its lack can lead to so many ailments: depression, stress, attention deficit, lower efficiency, lesser quality relationships, etc...

      So, a 10 or 20 minutes nap when possible is welcome and even encouraged. Try that for a week and see the improvement in your health, work, mood and looks!! yes, yes