Most people believe that when you sleep your brain sleeps too. In fact, your brain never rests. It uses periods of sleep to process and learn. Workaholics who deprive themselves of sleep to get more work done may think they are being more productive, but in reality, the opposite is true.
Your brain needs periods when your body is in a sleep state to be at its most efficient. However, it is not necessary or even desirable that your sleep come all at once at night. Your brain can be better served with more frequent naps throughout the day rather than one single long nap at night. A lack of overall sleep reduces attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity.
The total amount of sleep we need each day depends on lots of factors, such as age, gender, if we are pregnant, etc. People are adapted to take periodic naps throughout the day and night. Primitive man could not afford long uninterrupted periods of sleep, or he might make an easy meal for predators. Do you ever wonder why you feel tired in the afternoon? It is because your brain really wants to take a power nap.
Taking a nap can make you more productive. In fact, NASA performed a study to measure the performance of pilots. After a 26-minute power nap, the pilots in the study performed 34% better and were 54% more alert than those who didn’t take a nap. Many famous leaders like Winston Churchill and John F Kennedy, as well as inventor Thomas Edison, worked two or three shifts a day with a nap in between.
Have you ever considered taking a nap in the middle of the day?
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