Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Salavador Dali, Napoleon – the world has seen some great men who attribute a significant portion of their accomplishments toward napping. And while most of us can agree that little feels as nice as a good old fashioned afternoon nap, anecdotal evidence from these historic figures seems to indicate napping might also be a way to feel younger, more energetic, and keep hold of your youthful creativity.
Examining the lives of world leaders like Churchill and JFK – the nap was key to managing the extreme stress of managing entire countries. Both men were known to take two-hour naps around 2pm every day. They strictly kept to this schedule without interruptions so that they could return to work and stay at work well into the evening (Churchill regularly worked until 11 pm).
Dali, Edison and Napoleon all subscribed to the idea of mini-naps spaced periodically throughout the nap – often in lieu of a full night’s sleep. All believed this helped inspire their creativity, inventions or military strategy… and today’s science now proves that this hypnogogic nap allows the brain to unlock subconscious thought by resting it until just before the commencement of Stage 2 sleep.
Does that mean you should curl up with a pillow on your desk? If you’re so lucky to be the man in charge – why not? But alternatively, you could try a short nap in your car during your lunch hour. Just 30 minutes is enough to keep you bright and alert (and not struggling like an old man to stay awake) in work situations. And, for your health, good sleep is known to beget good sleep. Catch a few extra minutes or an hour during the day, and you very well may sleep better at night – which gives your body time to rejuvenate and fight the effects of aging and exposure to oxidants and environmental agers.