Caught Napping!

“To sleep, perchance to dream…” Hamlet

Our society today applauds those who sacrifice sleep for work, somehow making them look more heroic. People go as far as to boast about how little sleep they get.

I have had more than a few people criticize me for my thoughts on sleep. And up until recently, I have tried to hide the fact that I allow myself sleep when I feel I need it and especially the fact that I like to take a nap everyday. There I said it! This revelation now leaves me wide open to condemnation. More than once I have been accused of having a lack of work ethic, loafing around, or being downright lazy.

Throw tomatoes if you must but there is a growing amount of scientific evidence to support my habit.

According to the University of Cambridge, new research has found that when physical and mental performance are in direct competition, more energy is diverted to the brain than to body muscle. The conclusion is that it takes more energy to perform cognitive tasks than to exert physical force.

Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post is a self proclaimed sleep evangelist. In her article, Sleep Your Way to the Top, she says, “There’s practically no element of our lives that’s not improved by getting adequate sleep”.  In 2010, she gave a TED talk on the value of sleep. She believes the key to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.

Investor, philanthropist and Mensa Member, Tai Lopez, is also a proponent of sleep. According to him, an 18 minute nap will give you an extra 2 hours of energy. Lopez, a multi-million dollar business owner, naps habitually because he believes it enhances his ability to run his company.

Suzanne Somers, actress and leading health advocate, believes sleep is of vital importance to our well-being. As she wrote in her book, Breakthrough you must sleep a full 8 hours to allow your body the time to heal and restore. Along with Researchers from NASA, Suzanne echos the belief that the perfect nap lasts for 26 minutes. It is said that a mere 26 minutes of shut-eye adds an additional 3 hours worth of energy.

These three are just a sample of people who have incorporated sleep priorities into their lives and had it contribute to their success. They dispel the myth that you must work more, work harder and work longer hours in order to ‘make it’.

Just as napping can increase alertness, sleep deprivation can lead to accidents, poor decision making and just an overall foul mood. So, go ahead, hit that snooze button one more time and don’t feel guilty about catching some zzzzzzzzs at midday.

I, for one, am ecstatic that I  have scientific evidence to back up my view of slumber.  And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my nap.