How about a nappacinno? (DW#710)

Yesterday we talked about how some of us may need to forgo that shot of afternoon caffeine if we want to sleep well at night.

Today, I want to introduce a VERY interesting idea from the book Whenby Dan Pink. The book, which is about the science of perfect timing also talks about how to manage the energy variations we experience throughout the day.

He is a great believer in the power of power naps and calls them "Zambonis for our brains". A Zamboni (had to look that one up J) is a machine which is used to resurface ice and make it smooth so that it can be played on.

Here is what he says about the power of naps: "A large body of research shows that naps improve cognitive performance and boost mental and physical health. In many ways, naps are Zambonis for our brains. They smooth out the nicks, scuffs, and scratches a typical day leaves on our mental ice."

He calls these power naps "Nappaccinos" and lays out a 5 step process for the perfect "Nappaccino"

1. Figure out when your energy is at its lowest in the afternoon. According to his research this naturally happens about 7 hours after you wake up in the morning. So if you wake up at 7am, your "nappaccino" time would be at 2pm. Your exact time may vary of course but this is just an average guideline.
2. Create a quiet environment. Hint: draw the curtains and switch off your phone to start with.
3. Drink a cup of coffee! YES. This is where it gets really interesting. Pink says that because it takes caffeine about 25 minutes to kick in, the most efficient and short nap happens when you drink it right before your nap!!! Remember this is a book about perfect timing!
4. Set a timer for 25 minutes. You don’t want to sleep so long that you create "sleep inertia." 10 to 20 minutes is perfect. This is what is called a "power nap".
5. Repeat consistently. Dan tells us that there’s evidence that frequent nappers get more benefits rather than those who only nap once in a while.
So, how about giving this a try on the weekend? After lunch, lay down for a short nap right after your cup of tea or coffee. I am really interested to find out how this works for you and me!

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