Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

Wake Up and Nap

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: sleep, naps, drowsiness, insomnia, work, Science News,

The Spanish were on to something with the idea of the siesta. Science News reports that taking an afternoon nap is the best way to combat work-place drowsiness, according to researchers at the Sleep Research Center at Loughborough University in England. The study tested people in the height of the post-lunch slump, around 2:00, and tried different strategies for keeping them awake. Taking a quick, 20-minute nap was even more effective than getting more sleep the night before. And although the nap worked best, the researchers also suggested a more socially acceptable way to wake up: drinking a cup of coffee (or six).

pam_1
6/29/2008 9:46:50 PM

I wonder what effect a nap in the afternoon would have on accidents, stress, and road rage during 5:00 traffic. Anyone know? I think the sluggishness has a direct relationship to WHAT you ate for lunch and perhaps how much you like your job.


ken adams
6/12/2008 4:08:14 PM

Sounds great but I am certain my boss would never go for it. He'd listen but would never be convinced. He probably doesn't believe reading this blog is acceptable on my break either though, so I'm not so sure he's an open minded individual.


morgan_3
6/12/2008 12:04:32 PM

The power-nap is catching on in Japan as well. They call it "inemuri" (thanks, Brendan), which means "sleeping while present" according to Wikipedia. The practice is gaining popularity in boardrooms and classrooms throughout the country, the Washington Post reported awhile back. And sure enough, credit goes to those napping Iberian missionaries for bringing the siesta to Japan. Unfortunately, the practice fell out of favor in Japan due to the greater influence of non-napping European countries like England, France and Germany. But it's coming back...Eventually, we will all throw off the chains of exhaustion and sleep at work or school.