August 29, 2013

A quick nap doesn't mean you're lazy – it's key to being productive

Posted in Ireland · 65 comments ·
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I have just woken up. It’s the middle of the day and I realise that sensible and serious people shouldn’t be snoozing in broad daylight. That said, I am a big believer in a nap when you feel the overwhelming post-lunch tiredness. In fact, napping at any time is good with me.

Years ago when I worked in an office, I remember fighting sleep, trying not to put my head on the desk. But my body was telling me to sleep.

At around about 2pm every day, my brain shuts down and I need to curl up for a snooze. But when I was in the office environment, instead of the quick afternoon nap, I forced myself to drink reservoirs of water to try and stay awake.

The office experience echoed a previous one. The same mid-afternoon sleepiness afflicted me throughout secondary school.

There we were, 35 teenagers of totally different abilities and interests crammed into an oppressively stuffy room. We tried to concentrate as the teacher wrote down things on the blackboard. This we copied into our copybooks and somehow this was supposed to go into our heads.

In the US, a recent Harvard study proved what us nappers already know: taking a nap can make you more productive for the rest of the day. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34pc and alertness by 100pc. Naps reduce mistakes and accidents.

In Australia, researchers at Flinders University proved that “the five-minute nap produced few benefits in comparison with the no-nap control. The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigour, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes. The 20-minute nap was associated with improvements emerging 35 minutes after napping and lasting up to 125 minutes after napping. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, indicative of sleep inertia, followed by improvements lasting up to 155 minutes after the nap”.

Despite this scientific evidence and the day-to-day experience of millions of people who feel recharged after a nap, our culture is very much one that regards the nap as a sign of laziness rather than an activity that can boost productivity.

A few months back the excellent ‘Financial Times’ writer Simon Kuper made this precise point – that the person who might snatch 10 minutes kip is regarded in this part of the world as a slacker rather than someone who knows how to re-energise.

We know that a whole array of productive people from Albert Einstein to Churchill and Roosevelt were all afternoon nappers and yet the nap is frowned upon.

The reason I am fixated with the nap today, is because school starts this morning and our house is full of new schoolbooks. After a long summer of hanging out – and yes, napping when they wanted to – the children are about to head into another academic year where they will be expected to cram all sorts of facts into their heads.

This process of stuffing various and, as they would say, random, facts into their heads is what we call teaching. But teaching is something that is done to you and learning is something you do for yourself.

In order to learn, your brain has to be in the right mood to remember things. If you are tired, your brain simply won’t be able to function properly, or at least not at its optimum. Millions of children would find homework much easier if they took a nap before doing it.

A second aspect of learning is how to memorise. This is crucial because so much of our exam system is a giant memory test.

The best way to memorise is not by frantic last-minute cramming but by a constant process of repetition and reminding. Memorising is like a giant fridge door in your head with little notes stuck on it reminding you to do things.

So a little bit every night helps enormously as does paying attention in class.

How often did you daydream in class because you were tired and couldn’t focus? In my case it was every day, lots of times, because all I wanted to do was sleep.

Given that we know now about the recuperative and restorative process of napping in the day and the fact that teenagers need lots of sleep, might it not be a good idea to re-organise the school day to accommodate the nap?

Wouldn’t it be nice to dispel for once the notion that naps are for the lazy and unambitious or for older people with lots of time?

The guy who falls asleep at his desk is ridiculed – I know because I was that worker. When you doze off, you feel guilty. But you shouldn’t, our culture should embrace this.

From schooling to the workplace, our hours are structured in a robotic fashion, placing an inordinate emphasis on presenteeism, on simple measurement and what might be termed head-count management.

For the economy in general, if we are teaching tired children and expecting tired workers to perform, we are doing precisely the opposite of the much-heralded smart-economy. This 19th century assembly line model of school and work is more of a dumb economy.

In order to compete with the rest of the world, we ought to begin by re-organising our day so that we use our brains when they are at their most fit, not when they are most tired.

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  1. Pat Flannery

    I have just woken up

  2. cianireland

    I nap every day and have done for years… even ten minutes is enough to get rid of heavy post lunch nods that could kill an afternoon… There’s always somewhere in/near your office to get them too; just get creative, its worth it…

  3. It is confusing .Had many not been asleep things might have been different eg Cowen and Neary .

    Perhaps I am dissecting sleep with two different meanings.

    Maybe others will find more .

    The English language is faltering badly and not adapting to the key words we really need.

    My study of primitive man in Ireland showed even though his words were few they were effective and more relevant today .For example he included two words for tax as being Taxation and Cáin and they had different meanings and our Minister does not know it ;
    They had different words for land in Ireland and differentiated between coastal, inland and land for the fishermen and boats .

    Is our society becoming delusional and preventing us to think and experiencing a mouse trap existence with a need for a running wheel ?

    Work and a siesta seems to make sense .What happens when you have no work or you do not work even if you are over paid like bank regulators ?

  4. hibernian56

    Around 4pm every day for 30 minutes, like clockwork. Then I work until the wee hours.

    I find the notion of rearranging the school day amusing, what would the unions say? Strike!!! Disruption pay!!! Inconvenience pay!!! Special nap supervisory pay!!! Strike I say!!!

    What about the teachers, we have to keep them happy because one day they will be running this country (into the ground).

  5. SMOKEY

    I was in trouble with the wife just a few hours ago, having admitted I took a nap while on the job yesterday.
    She was good natured about it but annoyed none the less. She had 4 children all day so can you blame her?
    I have been a fan of and used this as a tool to increase my own production since I was about 18. I used to play in a band and even as a teenager and young man I would come home from work, nap, head to a gig or practice.
    It doesnt affect night sleep either if you are nodding for anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes. Any more than that could affect your later sleep.
    Cant say enough good things about it.
    Most Boxers, weightlifters, tennis players, sports champions of all kinds do the nap thing.
    And if you can get a napping partner on the odd occasion there are some benefits in kind there as well!!
    With water charges coming we will use the old California saying “shower with a friend” too.
    If you have trouble napping, put the new Pat Kenny radio program on next week and you will fall asleep quickly for sure.

  6. I have just spoken to a client from rural Limerick where he tells me that all the young men do is sleep all morning and walk the dogs in the evening .He added that the more sleep they do the more dogs they walk and the more shit they produce along the pathways .

    Its a dirty cycle.

  7. DavidIreland

    20-30 minutes works for me – without fail.

    For example, when driving, if I ever feel that horrible “nodding off” feeling about to happen, I pull in, set my alarm for 20 minutes, fall asleep and wake up totally refreshed feeling that I could drive for another 10 hours.

    Interestingly, I do not get the refreshed feeling if I just “take a break” for 20 minutes, go for a walk, read the paper or have a cup of coffee.

    A 20 minute nap is the only thing that works but it works beautifully every time. I’ve only learned this in the last few years and wish I had known it 20 years ago.

    So my advice to everyone: David’s advice here is good, it works and if you don’t do it already, you should try it.

  8. Pat Flannery

    Now that I have taken my second nap I would like to share this for this forum’s expert consideration:

    “Twenty-five years from now, millions of buildings— homes, offices, shopping malls, industrial and technology parks— will have been converted or constructed to serve as both power plants and habitats. The wholesale reconversion of each nation’s commercial and residential building stock into mini power plants over the next three decades will touch off a building boom— creating thousands of new businesses and millions of new jobs—with an economic multiplier effect that will impact every other industry.”

    Rifkin, Jeremy (2011-10-04). The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World (p. 45). Palgrave Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

    • 5Fingers

      I would love to see that vision emerging. But then, I am having issues with the concept of “JOB”. I feel this very construct of the 19th Century to keep an industrial machine rolling is in for a major mauling. As each day passes, I see fewer and fewer jobs that cannot be usurped by tech.

      • Pat Flannery

        The invention of second-generation grid IT has changed the economic equation, tipping the balance of power from the old, centralized fossil fuel and uranium energies to the new, distributed renewable energies. We now have advanced software that allows companies and industries to connect hundreds of thousands and even millions of small desktop computers.

        When connected, the lateral power exceeds, by a magnitude, the computing power of the world’s largest centralized supercomputers.

        Similarly, grid IT is now being used to transform the electricity power grid in several regions of the world. When millions of buildings collect renewable energies on site, store surplus energy in the form of hydrogen, and share electricity with millions of others across intelligent intergrids, the resulting lateral power dwarfs what could be generated by centralized nuclear, coal, and gas-fired power plants.

        Rifkin, Jeremy (2011-10-04). The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World (pp. 51-52). Palgrave Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

        • 5Fingers

          No quibble with the tech capability at all. For me, the economic construct of “job” is over. It is not needed. As I say below, people as machines pushing process are being outmoded by machines. Now, the next big challenge is learning to be truly human without the whip cracking demands of being on time.

          So far, the trends in computing and power delivery – while being flattened and grid like for better delivery, all are tending to be centrally controlled. Such centrality is insensitive to the locals who have no say in the central politics and being without jobs will make them compete with robots to survive. That is my fear.

          • When I was a lad, i’d sit on the bus going to school and it would stop outside a pub called “The Mermaid” in Sparkhill. Outside would be a throng of hung-over labourers, many Irish fugees. Some friends of mine or my family.

            I was thinking recently about the Precariat concept and how, from the care home worker to the ‘interim project manager’, more and more people are now ‘day labourers’ like those guys outside the pub. It’s a Balti curry house now.

            The end of the job is part of a process. We used to have middle-class aspiration based on ‘the career’ which gave credence to the 25/30 year mortgage and pension plans. Then BPR and recessions limited career to the core of corporations. Now that’s gone too, and very few are invited into a pension fund as it’s assumed they’re transient.

            People on the line at Amazon are competing with robots and once the robots win, they’ll be back to daylabour status.

            House prices will become irrelevant to all but those with hereditary bloodline wealth or entrepreneurial acumen and good fortune. I guess the whole world will come to resemble Dharavi in Mumbai, with cottage industries recycling commodities and data.

            What’s not clear is how the economy of Industrial Consumer Civilisation manages to stay afloat, if ever diminishing amounts of people either have no income, or their income is so precarious that they never know what money is needed for critical expenses or can be ‘consumed’ in discretionary spending. I understand that, in China, the consumer economy cannot expand because most people live in fear of needing hospital treatment and their wages have to be ring-fenced for exorbitant medical bills.

            Perhaps that’s why British consumers are so reckless as they know they will have ‘free’ healthcare (from taxes) and would rather this troubled product be kept away from corporate profits and competition so they can carry on buying Botox injections and Premier League tickets.

            There’s not going to be any Luddite reaction, everyone one wants ever more efficience: except when it reduces their career/job/self-image to that of disposable quasi-robot!

          • http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/wave-goodbye-to-global-warming-gm-and-pesticides-29525621.html

            Revolutionary Irish tech discovery enhances food production around the world and in your greenhouse.

    • hibernian56

      A bit like this, except heating for your house… http://nerdalize.com

      I’m sure we’ll see plenty of movement in this sector, in Ireland’s case it all depends on the resistance met from Semi-States, as usual.

    • In my view, this guy is a social scientist of some kind, not an actual scientist, or engineer. 120kWh/person/day. Go!

      • 5Fingers

        Perhaps another way of looking at it. Average car pushes out 30-50kW . 2 hr commute replaced by stay at home telecommute gives you most of your budget straight away. Add in one nap and there’s your 120kWh.

        Stretching the idea a bit, suppose one could arrange buying energy from people on basis of substitution of travel with connection to grid.

        • hibernian56

          Interesting.
          Makes a lot of sense. If I can get my employees working at home (in a disciplined manner) think of the resources I can save, premises / insurance / expenses / utilities / rates etc.

          Certainly more efficient way to go, and “carbon efficient” too. I wonder how long before there is a work at home tax?

          I am certainly going to look at it for our start up. Work at home, salary is slightly less, but we pick up the tab for your utilities, broadband etc., you save on travel expenses. Thanks for the idea. Pints owed.

    • bonbon

      That’s Enron’s business model, straight from the Ranch at the Crooked E.

      Gaming the Grid was the game, and California knows what that meant.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron
      Blackout: Enron-Style Dereg Strikes Again in U.S.

      Today the latest green bubble, windy turbines, will burst leaving giant shadows over the ghost estates. Pinch yourself, you are not awake!

  9. “This process of stuffing various and, as they would say, random, facts into their heads is what we call teaching.” Priceless!

    In every job I’ve had, I managed to find a way to steal a quick post-lunch kip. I find I can operate much the better for it, which makes me feel more productive and much less stressed. Off for forty winks right now in fact…

  10. DaveyS

    I have a friend who works for Huwaei in China and they have a nap every afternoon for 1 hour. They bring in their own pillows so they can put them on their desk and off they go for a Nap. It is the norm !!!

  11. Paul Divers

    I have been fond of power snoozes since I worked in Taiwan in 1999.
    We would go downstairs for lunch and head back upstairs and put the lights off. Everyone put their heads down and took a 20 minute kip. No talking was allowed.

    It is perfectly normal.

    • Peter Schum

      Yes, have seen this in China also where office lights are turned off at lunchtime and people take a nap. Some also nap outside so it is a bit unusual to see bodies scattered around the yard. I can’t see it taking off here myself, but I am definitely a fan of the siesta while on holiday. Can we correlate the China nap and Spanish siesta with economic performance of each region? Every initiative needs a slogan, so as 2013 is the year of the Gathering, maybe 2014 can be the year of the Awakening!

      • Paul Divers

        While there I changed my diet to include more fruit and veg and the habit stuck. A few months ago my better half purchased a juicer because rather than eat five pounds of fruit every day we make juices and over the summer our health and energy levels have noticeably improved

        I have also rid my mind of the motion that a fry up is a good breakfast.

  12. 5Fingers

    I wonder David if your article was prompted by this… http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/aug/21/bank-intern-death-working-hours

    This for me sums up what is so wrong with this society. What in God’s name was going through this poor man’s mind to be so willing to work 23 hour days and for what…to drive a Ferrari? What emptiness drives such behaviour? This pervasive “normality” we see in the CITY and indeed in a lot of macho led companies has been the lynchpin for society since the beginning of the industrial era and has infected and damaged the structure of education, learning and public discourse. Even the David’s own word “productive” suggests a need to be answerable and to be awake at a 3rd party’s behest – who generally have a general disinterest of the producers own circumstances – another grave sin in our society.

    We focus on man made clocks and calendars more than on our body clocks and the seasons and the other natural ebbs and flows of the world. The industrial era brought the job, the clock-in/out culture, the salary, the guaranteed income of a salary, the production line and the family unit living in a “planned” development a planned life. And it worked – until the “JOB” evaporated. How ironic that ultimate saboteur of this economic construct was the thing that that original saboteurs originally set out to destroy it. We as machines as being surpassed. AND that’s a good thing, we were never machines, but relearning to be human again – maybe the nap is the first step.

    • From Junior Doctors to apprentice Lawyers, the testosterone-poisoned supposed Alpha-Males (and their so-called ‘feminist’ co-conspirators) have conspired to create an ‘Arbeit Mach Frie’ culture which awards status and income prizes to the most cult-like devotion to Presenteeism. We even see people eating ‘gift’ sandwiches at their desks, without washing their hands, even though there are as many bacteria on the average keyboard as on a toilet seat.

      “Lunch is for wimps”. So is having a baby or a sick relative. Or, y’know, not really giving a toss about a bunch of career psychopaths who are stigmatised as ‘lazy’ because they correctly intuit that a lot of ‘activity’ is for personal aggrandisement, nothing to do with ‘efficiency’ and ‘productivity’. The bitter, angry CEO or middle manager demands subservience to the confused inefficiency of their David Brent terrain. And the only thing to do most times is leave and either join or create an environment which recognises that real increases in Prosperity do not just come from mechanical innovation.

      Of course, there’s those awayday with ‘change-management facilitators’ which are a great laff, as the hired help gently tries to ‘lightbulb’ the dysfunctional manager into realising that they are no longer anchored to consensual reality. I guess our host sometimes does this role, 4 teh lulz……..

      The Japanese have a word for the suicided/drop-deaded salaryman debt slave: Karoshi

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kar%C5%8Dshi

      Really, the best solution to all this is to be rich either through work or inheritance, so you have choices. Or rob a bank by running a bank, etc.

      I read that Steve Balmer is retiring. This saddens me, as his ‘motivational speeches’ are some of my most cherished comedy moments. I hope he will take up acting or stand-up comedy. I bet he won’t be putting his feet up with slippers and a pipe, napping when afternoon t.v gets too much….

      http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/08/steve-ballmer-video/

    • bonbon

      3 deaths in one week at financial services. Deutsche Bank Chief resigned from Zurich Insurance after a director was found dead at home and he was blamed.

      Could be DMcW is wondering about the “all nighters” that killed that freshman.

      One only wonders if the cocaine culture of investment banking is lethal. Studies showed that one single use rewired the brain permanently. Are ambitious greenhorns on cheaper stuff? And forced sleeping with other stuff? You may have heard of Ritalin and Prozac for youth being used all over the US and EU, to get manageable kids.
      Anyway today both the hyper and sleeper are today both suspect.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Good post. Everyone is suspect today though. Welcome back by the way.

        Your new approach is far more effective and does your intellectual rigeur far better justice. Recent posts are far more weighty.

    • hibernian56

      replace CITY with CCTV

  13. Pat Flannery

    Getting back to why we all come here, to discuss the foibles of our “currencies”, I am more and more coming to the belief that what we call “currencies” today, the Euro and the Dollar for example, will break out into many different types of “currencies” as we enter a new economic age based on quantifiable energy and information.

    Hydrogen for example does not exist independently on earth, it has to be extracted from composite materials. But once extracted it can be stored and transported in small quantities and used as a flexible energy carrier e.g. in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I can see such man-made carriers, with clear utility value and limited availability, becoming each a de fact medium of exchange.

    It is only a matter of time before the markets learn how to link their trades to the exchange value of such “currencies”. The concepts of money as we have known it will slowly disappear in a whole new economy. So we are probably fretting over yesterday’s problem.

    Time for another nap.

  14. Adelaide

    “A Nap a day keeps the Blues away.”

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. What an utter waste of time they are. After enough years in enough organisations (private, not public) I’m convinced that a national Time & Motion study of a country’s Economy would reveal that 80%/90% of employees are dead wood or more accurately ‘busy fools’. The older I get the more ridiculous the concept becomes when you experience a prolonged bird’s-eye view of the machinations on the ground. To someone starting out I’d say a job/career is a man-made bullshit to acquire man-made bullshit money, that’s all, it’s not a law of nature, it’s a game. I’m lucky enough that I enjoy my particular game but it’s still a time-consuming bullshit fabrication.

    And then you read about that young chap in the above article from 5Fingers.

    Bring On The Machines and Give Us A Break! We Have Better Things To Be Doing With Our Time!

    • To people who complain about ageing I say “the only thing worse than getting old is the alternative”.

      The only thing worse than having an unsatisfying job is not having one: unless you are a member of the British Royal Family..or have inherited / earned wealth such that you can replicate the social benefits of a ‘job’ without being a wage slave by organising charity lunches or whatnot.

      Afternoon telly is not really a substitue for Life…..robot takeover? it’s happening…..careful what you wish for….lots of Chinese kids will be between a rock and a hard place when they lose their iDevice assembly job to robot production. I guess, like us, they’ll just ‘go shopping’.

      • Adelaide

        There is no such thing as employment/unemployment. It is an illusion that serves the puppeteer, the humbug Wizard, who conditions his puppets’ minds with falsehoods such as your ‘The only thing worse than having an unsatisfying job is not having one’ and orchestrating their thoughts and behaviour so completely through their two-slit blinkers that in their left eye-slit they ‘see’ “Jobs” and in the right eye-slit they ‘see’ “Afternoons of Telly”.

        Of the handful of fundamental questions, one of them is ‘What is Money?”, a train of query leads the inquisitive begin to peek behind the Wizards’s curtain, another is “What is a job?”.

        “What is a job?” asked the puppeteer. “It is the opposite of unemployment” replied the puppet. The puppeteer smiled. “Excellent!”

  15. bilimori

    Naps are good, siestas are better.

  16. Winter approaches. I feel the urge to hibernate.

    • mishco

      We are all “hiberniating” and may wake up refreshed one day. But how long will our economic winter last? And will only the fattest survive?

      • Sometimes a bear is awakened early and when he comes out from the lair he has a mean attitude.
        If your reference is to the Kondratieff super cycle we are in to the advent of winter in the economic cycles. About 80 years around.

        https://www.google.ca/search?q=kondratieff+cycle&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=1I7SKPT_en&gws_rd=cr&ei=PSYgUvK6BOOPiALWn4CQAw

        Eliot wave is another based on the similar studies, and applied to financial markets. It is tied in with natures Fibonacci numerical cycles.

        http://www.elliottwave.com/introduction/elliott_wave_principle.aspx?code=WPMS&articleid=0

        https://www.google.ca/search?q=fibonacci&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=1I7SKPT_en&gws_rd=cr&ei=XikgUrCSLeO2iwL4_oGQAw

        I know of them but not much about the above.

      • A novel approach to unemployment would be to put those affected into cryogenic cold-storage with minimal heating and calories, just enough so they don’t die in case the ‘forces of production’ need them as ‘human resources’ in future. Oh, wait! That’s been the history of the human race to date, and with ‘useless eaters’ vexing the servants of The Troika with their outlandish demands for sustenance: it’s time for us to take difficult steps to balance the budge for hard-working bankers who play by the rules they make:

        “Economists and bureaucrats who ventured out into the countryside after the Revolution were horrified to find that the work force disappeared between fall and spring. The fields were deserted from Flanders to Provence. Villages and even small towns were silent, with barely a column of smoke to reveal a human presence. As soon as the weather turned cold, people all over France shut themselves away and practiced the forgotten art of doing nothing at all for months on end.

        In the mountains, the tradition of seasonal sloth was ancient and pervasive. “Seven months of winter, five months of hell,” they said in the Alps. When the “hell” of unremitting toil was over, the human beings settled in with their cows and pigs……

        The British Medical Journal reported that peasants of the Pskov region in northwestern Russia “adopt the economical expedient” of spending one-half of the year in sleep”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/opinion/25robb.html

        So, replace minimum income for economically surplus humans with free sleeping pills and/or a one-way ticket to Siberia. Really, Joan, you need to ante-up!

        • Paul Divers

          Fascinating article. This para jumped out:

          Until the 20th century, few people needed money. Apart from salt and iron, everything could be paid for in kind. Economic activity was more a means of making the time pass than of making money, which might explain why one of the few winter industries in the Alps was clock-making. Tinkering with tiny mechanisms made time pass less slowly, and the clocks themselves proved that it was indeed passing.

  17. Sleep is that time that allows us to retrieve information from stored files in the basement and then to bring to our consciousness what was in the subconscious .Speed is irrelevant so we must ask the question what is the relevance of the speed of information technology .

    • Paul Divers

      The filing cabinet in the basement contains all we need to know and The Art of Doing Nothing explains how to access it.

  18. Dorothy Jones

    What a lovely article! My father used to lie flat out face down in the hall back from the fields after dinner, which was the middle of the day in our house. Happier days them.

  19. I posted this yesterday but it had too many links so was binned as spam. My bad!

    ” The ancient Greek word schole, which turned into our word for “school”, originally meant “free time”.

    http://idler.co.uk/

    An “ideology of idleness”, a resource for ‘recovering economists’, a useful starting point upon which to build a post Neo-Liberal less-is-more mindset which can bring the planet back from the brink. It’s odd to think that the most productive thing to do is nod off whilst allowing the planet to rewild. Collapse will enable that ‘idleness’.

    “Presenteeism is a plague on productivity”. But, you know, if you have your jacket on the chair you can pretend you were in a meeting rather than cracking one off in the loo to relieve the boredom.

    Napping is one of many “biohacks” of sleep which can be explored, but the problems of shift workers show that not everyone can go beyond monophasic of biphasic [napping] or monophasic [nightime only] sleep.

    For years, I was crippled with insomnia until I ‘reset’ by eliminating ambient light and sound with blackout blind and earplugs. Yet I was prescribed toxic sleeping pills. Now I sleep 6 hours a night – with a mid-day ‘meditation’ exercise that usually ends with me nodding off! Of course, the Med types have all this sussed, or did until Germanic ‘efficiency’ was imposed on their Siesta! Manana! lifestyle/culture/nations. The post-prandial snooze is usually because of poor food choices. Avoid the turkey sandwich option:

    “9. Turkey. Like other poultry, turkey contains tryptophan, a precursor to contentment-generating chemical serotonin. It can make you feel contented and sleepy.”

    http://io9.com/5765110/10-everyday-foods-that-can-affect-you-like-drugs

    A way to hack this out of your life is to use ‘intermittent fasting’ protocols to elimnate lunch. And/or breakfast. I’ve eliminated both and fast every day for 18 hours as part of a transformation/re-invention weight loss/muscle gain thingy.

    Exercise can also be hacked but only after a thorough medical to assess arteries. After a pulmonary embolism near-death experience, I’ve been very ‘motivated’ to explore all this stuff, in a gently, lazy way.

  20. Paul Divers

    Apparently 6 out of 10 adults take their laptop, tablet, smartphone to bed. Possibly to do online shopping for melatonin supplements?

    People are forgoing a good nights sleep to stay in touch with ‘people around them’. Better to turn off the gadgets and read a book at bedtime. It’s healthier.

    In Japan they are sending kids to ‘therapy camps’ where they are encouraged to socialise and take part in activity groups. Internet addiction, lack of sleep, depression and withdrawal are some of the hidden costs of this tech enlightened age

  21. 5Fingers

    We have all this back to front.

    A manufacturing line that you use for 30 mins every day – it is repetitive and satisfying and your brain turns off and the difference is you pay for the privilege and the proceeds of the output go to the community. Who said napping was lazy!!!

    When you wake up, you do what you want.

  22. Paul Divers

    Have a builder friend who has a contract in Canada and is looking for brickies / labourers. He flies out in ten days time and wants top class men. This is a genuine offer. No messing.

  23. tony_murphy

    “exam system is a giant memory test”

    yep, the banksters have taken control of government including the dept of education and have ensured that most people can’t think for themselves, the curriculum has purposely been designed to dumb people down.. so they are easier to control

    your students might find this useful in the macroeconomics course. Thanks for informing us that Macroeconomics is about the collective (communist governments love it I’m sure)

  24. pauloriain

    Heard you on the radio talking about the naps…. not your area of expertise then.

    Naps are actually perfectly normal, actually more normal, historically, than what we now do. Spend time sailing offshore on long passages and keeping watch, you don’t get to do 8 hours. You nap. In some cases when sailing solo, for as little as 10 minutes, but if done right you only need to sleep 100 minutes in a 24hr period and you’re good to go.

    The way it works is your body has biorhythms……. you wouldn’t dare to sleep 8 hours when predators were around in historic times. Effectively your body presents you with a sleep gate every 90 minutes or so, when you feel tired. They’re hard to identify, but if you yawn for no reason, that’s a good indicator. Most people will identify the afternoon as one such time and mistakenly think it has to do with a post eating thing. It’s easier to enter deep quality sleep at the sleep gates. Quality sleep is worth more in terms of what you need in any given 24hr period. If you get 20 minutes of quality sleep, it’s worth 20% of your daily requirement. So 5 X 20% is enough, 5 x 20 minutes of quality sleep gives you enough, that’s just 100minutes, 1hr 40mins.

    Did you ever had a full night sleep, but then forced yourself to sleepin and yet still felt more tired when you got up… Chances are you got up straight into one of your sleep gates. Most people will relate to the driving experience of not being able to keep their eyes open, they pull over, sleep for as little as 10-20 minutes then continue on without any problem.

    There is lots of evidence around this, the guys and girls who solo sail in races, for days, weeks and even months are all over this, cos they have to keep watch to sail the boat, also to avoid being run over by a ship.

    Anyway napping is all part of it…. just so you know.

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