November 6th, 2008

What’s Wrong with Taking a Nap?

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Napping in Chongqing
In today’s 24-hour technological society, most of us don’t nap at all, and many don’t nap enough. We all need to start napping more- it would make us less crabby and more productive in the long-run.

Why don’t we nap? Social stigma / false beliefs:

  • Napping is for lazy people
  • Napping is a waste your day
  • Napping is unproductive

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Napping actually makes us more productive because we wake up feeling refreshed, as if it’s the start of a second day.

Famous Nappers

During World War II, Winston Churchill would nap at least an hour in the early afternoon. Churchill is quoted saying “‘Nature had not intended mankind to work from 8 in the morning until midnight without the refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts 20 minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.” Some other famous nappers throughout history include:

  • Thomas Edison
  • Leonardo Davinci
  • Albert Einstein

Skilled Napping Takes Time

If you aren’t very good at napping, don’t worry- it is a skill that can be improved over time. I would have never thought I could nap on public transportation. I would be afraid to miss my stop… But since I’ve started taking the train every day, after some practice, napping has become a habit. I am now able to fall asleep, and wake up in time for my stop.

Give napping a try… What have you got to lose?

Next time you consider making a Starbucks run to keep you awake through the afternoon, consider taking a 20 minute nap instead. You just might wake up feeling more refreshed than you would have felt from the short-term jolt of caffeine.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bert van Dijk

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4 Responses to “What’s Wrong with Taking a Nap?”


November 9th, 2008 - 2:41 pm

I agree! I am an avid napper myself… :) it definitely beats a cup of coffee too!

Rick Wolff

November 20th, 2008 - 6:02 am

I’m a BIG advocate of napping! The best time for napping is mid-way between when you wake up and when you go to sleep; for most people it’s about 3pm. All you need is about 10 minutes. It’s more efficient than fighting the tendency for an hour.

Jeremy Day

December 6th, 2008 - 5:42 pm


Naps are for wimps! Just kidding. Actually Winston Churchhill is known for his weird sleeping schedule. Whatever helps you live better is a good thing.


Dennis Dalton

March 18th, 2009 - 5:38 pm

I wish I had more time to nap. Up a 4:30am (I don’t know why that time) writing until 7:00am. Work until 5:00pm. Family stuff until 8:00pm. Writing until 11:00pm. Then the cycle repeats. Sometimes I sleep late on Saturdays! Quite the schedule but I love it. After reading your article here, I’m going to try to squeeze a wee nap in over lunch!

I wrote a little blurb about early rising in my blog

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