Wednesday, December 31, 2014
A Suggestion for Your New Year Resolution-Take a Power Nap
Do you believe in the benefits of the power nap ? I am a believer and a practitioner of this activity because it boost my memory, creativity, and energy level during my working hours and even after work at home. I had been power napping, since I first started working for FDA in 1990 and until my retirement in 2002. Today I still Power nap at home even for just 15 minutes whenever I can.
According to Dr. Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life.
"You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping, You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance".
According to the article from WebMD, the length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap. sometimes called the stage 2 nap which is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.
What happens if you nap for more than 20 minutes? Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep -- napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes which is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions.
When I was still working for FDA ( 1990 to 2002), I take power naps during my one hour lunch break. I take a nap whenever I can, that is if we do not have all day meetings with the pharmaceutical companies, or seminars and emergency project meetings.
My office was very conducive and had ultimate privacy when it comes to power naps. Speaking of offices in FDA, during my working years at the agency, I had offices ranging from small and no windows to an office with 3 windows with venetian blinds and big enough for a sofa and lounging chair.
During my first 6 months in FDA my office was in the old Parklawn Building in Rockville, MD. I had even to share the office with another review chemist. The opportunity to take a power nap is zero except when my office mate went out to lunch and I had packed my lunch before I left for the office.
During this period at about 3PM, two hours before closing time, I could barely open my eyes and my productivity is almost zero as a chemistry reviewer. When I arrived from the office after saying Hello to my wife and kids, I take a 30 minutes nap. After my nap, I am ready for dinner and conversation with the family. This has been my habit until my retirement in 2002. The kids when they were still small know not to bug me when I arrived from work and not until I have my nap.
In 1995 our Division ( Anti-Infective Drug Products) moved to a newer building with bigger offices with windows, new furniture and computers. As a reviewer with five years seniority I was entitled to have an office with one window by myself. During lunch time, I could closed my office and take a nap between 15 to 20 minutes.
When I was promoted to Chemistry Team Leader in 1998, my office had three windows and space big enough to bring my own private lounging chair and sofa, a small microwave oven and a small refrigerator. With the oven and the small refrigerator, I brought my own lunch every day except on Fridays when our team went out to lunch. This office set-up was perfect for power napping.
In FDA at the time, the sizes of the offices had direct connection to your position. Specifically, the reviewers ( chemists, medical officers, pharmacologists/toxicologists, project managers) have offices with one window. The team leaders could have offices from 2 to 3 windows. The directors and up will have offices with 4 windows or more, depending on their seniority and location of the office buildings. The size of your office is a status symbol, indeed!
May I conclude this article that power naps had made me a productive and happy Federal employee from 1990 to 2002.
Today, I still practice my after lunch nap whenever I am at home which is almost every day except on Tuesday when my wife and I are gallivanting to the Indian Casino near our home.
I suggest you start taking power naps as your New Year resolution. I guarantee you will like it.