Stress Management 101- Take a Nap!

The other day I was just plain frustrated.  A number of things were not working, technologically and otherwise, and I was not being effective.  My normally optimistic outlook was colored in a negative light and I was cranky.  So in the late afternoon, I took a nap.  It wasn’t long – only about 40 minutes.  But when I woke up, I was refreshed, alert, positive and able to go work productively for another three hours.  Naps work!  And there is a great deal of research to support it.

Naps of half an hour or less do not interfere with sleep patterns, and they can restore clarity, alertness, and memory.  Albert Einstein was a big fan of naps and Lance Armstrong naps every day as part of his training. Zappos.com, has a nap room and employees are encouraged to use it regularly.  More and more corporations are providing nap rooms.  Many railroads have them, and even Ben and Jerry’s believes in naps.

An exhausted employee is an ineffective and possibly dangerous employee. Both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were related to sleep deprivation.

Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, says a 20-minute power nap is very light and easy to wake from, and good for your motor memory.   A nap of 20 – 60 minutes is slow wave sleep, which is restorative.  It promotes muscle and tissue growth, as well as memory  performance.

“Sleepiness alone costs the American economy and employers about 18 billion dollars a year,” says Darrel Drobnich of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, DC.  So why not address that proactively and provide a nap space at work?



Snowden McFall, president of Fired Up! and Brightwork Advertising and Training is not only an award winning expert on business success strategies, but also on stress relief.  She’s a dynamic speaker, author, trainer and transition coach. Her books include Fired Up! How to Succeed by Making Your Dreams Come True! which has now sold more than 63,000 copies, and her latest, Stress Express! 15 Instant Stress Relievers.

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