By Marian Connor
I was thinking about napping, those delicious little snoozy intervals in the day that have the ability to bestow so many benefits upon us. Last week we presented a talk about boosting energy levels and we discussed the joys of power napping under our element of Rest.
When I was a teenager I thought only ‘old’ people took naps, often unplanned, wasn’t that what happened when your granny drifted off, upright in her chair whilst you were trying to have a conversation with her? How could she? Was she not enthralled by your epic word for word account of a fall out you had with a person she didn’t even know? It’s what my father fell victim to after a hard day’s work, whilst struggling to be awake to read the paper, although when challenged he insisted he was only ‘resting his eyes.’
I soon realised that I too was able to easily visit dreamland at any time of day and from my 20’s onwards given the opportunity with 10 minutes to spare, I could pay a fleeting visit to Hypnos and be back before anyone had noticed my absence and always felt better for it.
I would like to recommend that you try the power napping habit, a short sweet interlude to your afternoon. It’s a painless way to boost your energy and sense of wellbeing. It is proven to boost cognitive performance, helps reduce stress levels, aids cardiovascular recovery following stressful situations and helps balance blood pressure as well as boosting the ability for learning and creativity.
“When you can’t figure out what to do, it’s time for a nap.”
Between 10-30 minutes appears to be an ideal amount of time to switch off, relax your body and free your mind, although short bursts of 5 or 6 minutes are still beneficial and in research, have been shown to aid memory and recall.
Even ridiculously short micro naps have been favoured by some famous nappers. Salvador Dali was reputed to have sometimes taken ‘key’ naps; Einstein and Aristotle were fans too. Dali would sit upright in a chair with a heavy metal key in his hand under which he had placed a plate on the floor. As he fell into slumber, his muscles relaxed, the key dropped onto the plate, the clang woke him up. At that point he would have slipped into theta waves which are where we are thought to release inspiration, creativity and insight. So off he skipped to paint something surreal perhaps envisaged from his micro dream. I haven’t tried this myself as I find the timer on my phone perfectly adequate for a 5 minute mental tune up.
Peter (Keeper of the Keys) by Salvador Dali
Don’t wait for an emergency nap to call, we all know them, those moments in the day when the act of staying awake becomes a hard fought battle between you and the Sandman, when that unwelcome narcolepsy descends, the type often induced during bus travel, where you lose the muscle tone in your neck and your head does that bobbing thing, drop, sharp correction, drop again as if drugged. Trying to continue with work is impossible, but a short nap could sort that out before it becomes an emergency.
Why not factor a 10 minute repose into your day, you may be surprised at how much better you feel for such a short break and how more alert and productive you are afterwards.
How Naps and Rewards Boost Learning
I don’t choose to be up walking.
I don’t choose to be talking.
The only thing I’m choosing
is to lie here woozy-snoozing.
So won’t you kindly go away.
I am NOT going to get up today!
Image Tile/Header – In the Underground 1940 – photograph by Bill Brandt
Hyperlink – Rest – blog post by 8 in the Universe
Image – Eyes painted on glasses
Image – Peter (Keeper of the Keys) by Salvador Dali
YouTube – The Scientific Power of Naps by ASAP Science duration 00:01:54
Hyperlink – How Naps and Rewards Boost Learning by Eric from The Brainflux
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your health and happiness.
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