Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

man sleepingIt is afternoon. You have a talk to give. When you enter the room and begin to set up, you notice people looking rather sleepy. In fact, as you scan the audience, some people are already nodding off.

You think, “This is going to be a challenge! Why are people looking so drowsy? Was it the big lunch they ate? Am I just not entertaining enough to keep their attention or what?”

Truth is, it is probably none of the above. Sure a heavy load of carbs at lunch could intensify the sleepy feeling people are getting, but more is going on with your midday audience.

At midday, people are entering the nap zone—that sleepy time when the brain says, “Take a nap, you need it. I don’t care if you want to be awake, I need to sleep!” Yes, the brain is telling you to sleep and fighting you to stay awake.

Now, most of us don’t have the luxury of taking an afternoon nap no matter what our brain is telling us. But in reality, a little siesta would actually benefit our functioning. The brain telling you to nap is trying to help you function better. We actually fight a beneficial impulse!

Napping benefits the brain.  It helps increase reaction time, reduces traffic accidents, and improves your cognitive functions. And that cognitive improvement lasts about 6 hours after a 45-minute midday nap.

So if you can, next time you are trying to push through a tough assignment or need to be creative, but find yourself fighting sleepiness, take a 25-45 minute nap! Close your door, nap with the kids, and rest! Your brain will thank you by working better!

 

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