The Afternoon Nap

10:14 Mon 09 Feb 2009. Updated: 21:35 09 Feb 2009
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There are plenty of reports that the afternoon nap is good for you, and that it increases alertness and clarity of thought.

I’m not a great sleeper generally, and I’ve wondered whether or not sleeping in the afternoon would help. Now that my schedule is more flexible, I’m going to try a 45-minute nap at 15:00 most days and see whether or not that makes any difference. Anyone out there tried similar experiments?

4 Responses to “The Afternoon Nap”

  1. Helen Says:

    I am ALL FOR the power nap. Preferably lasting no more than twenty minutes, and 1500 sounds about right, when the motivation is low and the chocolate far away: it can work wonders. There’s also the ‘disco nap’ at 7 pm when you want to pull a late night, also very useful. Then again, I am a talented sleeper at the best of times.

  2. Jeff Says:

    At a previous company, I had a couple coworkers who swore by their afternoon naps – typically about 15 minutes. One did so once daily when his ergonomic software prompted him to step away from the keyboard.

    I should note that (after years of these being two of our most productive coders) our CEO discovered the practice and had it banned. They both left not too long after, and are now both at Google.

  3. Jeff Says:

    On the related topic of not sleeping easily: I typically sleep well, but under stress or excitement I can have a very difficult time falling asleep. A friend recommended soaking my feet in a tub of hot water and amazingly it has yet to fail me. The only side effect so far seems to be the grandpa jokes I get when folks hear about it.

    Sweet dreams,

  4. Tadhg Says:

    Helen: 20 minutes, huh? I’m trying 45 for the moment. I had intended to try that all week, but only managed two days so far. Strange to have trouble finding time to nap…

    Jeff: I don’t think the feet thing would work for me, but interesting tip. As for the banning of napping on the grounds that it enables productive coding, that more or less figures.

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