When I started my physical education training at Sydney Teachers’ College in my late teens I was sometimes so sleep deprived and physically exhausted, that a good nap on the bus or train on route home was a wonderful way to relax and refresh.

I always remember those unfortunate times when that little person inside me who was in charge of my ‘wake me just before my stop’, was also napping. Waking many stops or even suburbs later on the bus or ending up in the night train parking sheds many miles from my home, to say the least, was stressful.

During my many years of travel all over the world I have been fascinated by the cultures that have napping as a formal part of their way of life.

Afternoon napping or siesta in Spain and the Americas’ where the conquistadors colonised, the shops, museums and churches often close briefly during the afternoon to facilitate the employees to follow Siesta tradition. This practice started by the Spanish as a counter for hot temperatures.

Today, napping during morning tea breaks, power naps on the office desk are an excellent tool when you are feeling stressed. They can help to shut down that ‘voice inside’ that does not want to be silent. There is an innate primate tendency and does not have an age bar. It can be an integral part of your day also and is considered by experts as an often necessary physical and psychological boost.
Scientists claim that naps can be an excellent de-stress tool and support people in increasing analytic ability and enhancing memory. Most humans sleep just once a day and so we are sometimes prone to sleeping deficiencies. Not everybody will benefit from naps research shows, as some people with insomnia can worsen the problem from day naps, as they can create night-time sleep imbalances.

There are different types of naps…

  • A six-minute power nap boosts memory.
  • A ten to twenty-minute nap is good because it allows stressed individuals to recover hormonal balance and take the person into the calm, as well as increasing mental and physical alertness.
  • The least preferred nap scientists say is the long thirty or more minute one.

If you find naps are an excellent support tool to assist you in managing your daily stress, then introduce them into your schedule. A diary note is usually the best mode to support you in making them a positive aspect of your daily life and personal wellness program.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Wayne Bailey

    Hi John,

    I think naps are great. When working long hours during the aftermath of the Brisbane floods in 2011, I would try and get a 10-20 min nap every day, and have done that regularly ever since. I didn’t know about the 6 minute memory nap though. I’ll have to try it.


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