Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sweet, Glorious Naps

I'm back, with an Ode to Naps. (This seems like an appropriate topic for my first day back at work after a great holiday. Regular blogging should recommence soon.)

I have been an enthusastic advocate for napping for years. College really got me hooked on them, as I would almost always come home from the class day for a nap before practice, and working full-time jobs in the summer always cramped my style because it often precluded the mid-to-late afternoon nap. They work well for me because I'm a night owl and am much more productive late at night (which could be an effect of the napping, of course, rather than justification for it). Luckily, I now have a job where I can (sometimes) fit in a nap during the day, allowing me to (on a good day) sleep when I feel I need it most and get my take-home work done from 11:00pm - 1:00am at night, or thereabouts. Not for everybody, of course, but it works for me. Now, I've long tried to justify my napping with various scientific data. For example, our internal clocks run on a 12-hour cycle, so it makes sense to wind down in the mid-afternoon. Also, almost all other primates have regular naps, so there is clearly a evolutionary component to the practice. And I heard somewhere, years ago, that an hour of sleep during the day is worth three hours at night. Don't know if that last one is true, but I do know that I love naps. Crawling into bed or onto the couch during the day is one of the best feelings I know of, and as I am all for maximizing personal fulfillment and happiness, I hereby pledge to stop trying to justify napping. I do it because I like to, not because it might be good for my health.

How's that for a New Year's Resolution?

Hat tip to Michael at 2blowhards for the inspiration, and a post with lots of good nap-related facts (including an endorsement of napping by the rocket scientists at NASA!).


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