Sleepers, rejoice!
July 30, 2009 7:52 AM   Subscribe

A New York Times article reports that one in three adults takes a nap each day. Perhaps the most utilitarian of the nap types is the power nap. Fortunately, the good folks at Lifehacker have provided tips on how to insure you're living up to your sleeping potential. Sweet dreams!
posted by elder18 (59 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
How many of those "poor" 18-29 people are college students?
posted by smackfu at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2009


I just want to say ZZZZzzzzzz...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:59 AM on July 30, 2009


A friend of mine works as a consultant to a Chinese garment manufacturer. Every day after lunch, without fail, the lights in the place go off and everybody curl up next to their workstations for an hour long nap.

I'm not envious of much in the life of a Chinese garment manufacturing worker, but I am envious of a lunchtime power nap sanctioned by my boss.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:00 AM on July 30, 2009


According to LifeHacker, Top Nap Tips include avoiding caffeine, finding a quiet place, getting comfy and covering the eyes. If only there were some way to disseminate this information to non-hackers-of-lives so they could get the benefit of these revolutionary advances.
posted by DU at 8:06 AM on July 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


They need a Lifehack for not being obvious.

HAHAHAHA!
posted by elder18 at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


According to LifeHacker, Top Nap Tips include avoiding caffeineFORGET IT
posted by naju at 8:17 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have a sure fire method of taking a nap, daily, that does not require "tips." Get old. It comes naturally.
posted by Postroad at 8:19 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


1. Lie on couch.
2. Notice room full of sleeping dogs.
3. At 2:00 pm, turn on The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on PBS.
That's it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm actually fairly bad with naps. My body can't seem to understand the purpose of a short nap, and so I wake up an hour later feeling groggy and more tired than I did before. I tend to do better by just powering through the day and then having one big SLEEEEP at the end. On the other hand, when I've had a crazy night out and I get home after sunrise, I can sleep for 2-4 hours and head off to work, bright-eyes and busy-tailed. Don't ask me how that works.
posted by LMGM at 8:26 AM on July 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


2. Notice room full of sleeping dogs.
3. At 2:00 pm, turn on The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on PBS.

4. Dream about happy little dogs "fertilizing" happy little trees...
posted by zarq at 8:27 AM on July 30, 2009


A computer hacker is good with computers, but a golf hacker sucks at golf.

Those tips make me think that LifeHacker sucks at life.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 8:29 AM on July 30, 2009


I'm an adult and I nap. I developed a nap habit about 8 or 9 years ago and now I cannot survive without it. It does eat into my schedule-- I always have to make sure I am home at 4:00-- and most of my friends and neighbors have difficulty figuring out when they can reach me. "Wasn't sure if you were taking a nap..." they say apologetically/passive-aggressively when they call or knock on the door at 1:00 pm.

The amazing thing about naps is how utterly, utterly blissful it feels to lie down on crisp, cool sheets in the afternoon. When it is raining I love to drift off to the rhythmic sound of pattering. When it is freezing, I love the comfort of nestling into my husband's warm embrace. When it is sunny and mild I love the smug yet guilty feeling of taking a nap when I should be taking advantage of the good weather. It would be devastating to look at a future without naps.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2009 [11 favorites]


At the Art Institute of Chicago, you can see Billy Wilder's purpose-built napping chaise. He would lie back, cross his arms, and drift away without worrying about oversleep, as the chair was too narrow to support his arms for more than half an hour or so. Eventually they would drop to his sides, waking him reflexively.
posted by Iridic at 8:39 AM on July 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm another one of those people who simply can't nap. I need well-defined periods of sleeping and wakefulness. Naps just seem to make me groggy for the rest of the day.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:47 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a napper if I can get away with it, and always better for it.

For me, it's always after lunch (which I tend to put off as long as possible) and even if it's for as little as two or three minutes, it makes a significant difference in my ability to think/perform. That said, ten-fifteen minutes is better ... but no longer than twenty. Then, it's like waking up in the morning all over again.

After the nap, have a nice strong cup of coffee. Now that's functionality.

And any boss that would poo-poo this is an idiot. I've had a few.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on July 30, 2009


I can't nap. On the rare occasion that I do fall asleep while trying to nap (while sick, or what not), I feel AWFUL and groggy for the entire rest of the night.

My partner, on the other hand, has napped every afternoon since he was 12, and doesn't like to do without it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 AM on July 30, 2009


Naps just seem to make me groggy for the rest of the day.

Yeah, me too. It's nearly impossible for me to fall asleep in the middle of the day, but when I do, I'm groggy and on edge for the rest of the day. I never feel actually awake after a nap, but then I have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.

I was like this as a child too, which made artifical "naptimes" very irritaiting.
posted by spaltavian at 8:53 AM on July 30, 2009


I see polls like this and wonder if they mean anything, even if their results appear logical. It's a national survey with (statistically speaking,) a very small sample. The Pew Center interviewed less than a thousandth of a percent of the US population*, then (as pollsters are wont to do,) drew a wide-reaching conclusion about all adult Americans.

* They interviewed a representative sample of 2,969 Americans. Details here. (Currently US population is estimated to be 307,040,670.)

Now if you'll all excuse me, I need a nap. :)
posted by zarq at 8:54 AM on July 30, 2009


I can nap like a mother fucker. Seriously, like super pro extra expert level hyper advanced in the nap department.
posted by The Straightener at 8:55 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aren't there some people who drink coffee, nap before it takes effect, and then wake up with the coffee going full-bore twice as refreshed? I seem to recall there was a name for this.
posted by elder18 at 8:56 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't nap regularly, but when I do it's always around 2-3pm, during the post-lunch dip. As above, no more than 25 minutes, but WOW does it refresh and recharge. Even a very light 10 minute doze leaning back in my chair at my desk with my feet up helps out.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:04 AM on July 30, 2009


bright-eyes and busy-tailed

Rowr.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:09 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've done the 15 minute power-nap since college. Very handy on 36 hour hellride tour traverses between Portland and the Grand Canyon. From what I hear tell, I share the skill with diverse historical figures like Leonardo and Bob Hope.

A friend's mom used to say she'd nap just enough to "Go down, touch bottom and come back up."
posted by tspae at 9:11 AM on July 30, 2009


A single nap during the day is effectively Biphasic sleep, the simplest of all the Polyphasic sleep patterns.

I'm currently experimenting with a regime of Everyman Polyphasia - one 3 hour block at night and three 20 minute naps during the day.

There's more information at polyphasicsleep.info and PureDoxyk's experiences of Everyman and Uberman are really fascinating...
posted by benzo8 at 9:13 AM on July 30, 2009


To sleep perchance to analyze
posted by hortense at 9:21 AM on July 30, 2009


And might I add, that a 20 minute "disco nap" before going out clubbing is bettter than two fists fulla Red Bull.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:33 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


zarq: I see polls like this and wonder if they mean anything, even if their results appear logical. It's a national survey with (statistically speaking,) a very small sample. The Pew Center interviewed less than a thousandth of a percent of the US population*, then (as pollsters are wont to do,) drew a wide-reaching conclusion about all adult Americans.

* They interviewed a representative sample of 2,969 Americans. Details here. (Currently US population is estimated to be 307,040,670.)


Actually, zarq, that's a huge sample. Good national polls are often between 1500 and 2000 respondents. Sample size beyond that has virtually no effect on accuracy but greatly increases a poll's cost.

The construction of a good, accurate sample that refects the target population is far, far more important than the number of respondents.

A really good read to learn about polls The Voter's Guide to Election Polls . Very easy to understand, informative and short.

/small time political operative
posted by spaltavian at 9:40 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fascinating. Thanks very much for that link, and your explanation. Very educational! :)
posted by zarq at 9:50 AM on July 30, 2009


Hey, thanks! And I should have linked to the $20 paperback rather than the $75 hardcover: The Voter's Guide to Election Polls (Paperback)

posted by spaltavian at 9:54 AM on July 30, 2009


elder18: You mean the "caffeine nap"? (also seen at Lifehacker)

For some reason it amuses me that sleep falls under "software" in LH's hierarchy.
posted by anthom at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2009


Aren't there some people who drink coffee, nap before it takes effect, and then wake up with the coffee going full-bore twice as refreshed? I seem to recall there was a name for this.

Why, yes there is - it's called a caffeine nap. Once again, Lifehacker has the scoop.
posted by jbickers at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2009


Dammit, anthom. Caught me napping.
posted by jbickers at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2009


(Although, what's interesting, is you and I linked to two different Lifehacker articles about the exact same subject at the exact same time. Mind-boggling.)
posted by jbickers at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2009


Aren't there some people who drink coffee, nap before it takes effect, and then wake up with the coffee going full-bore twice as refreshed?

I do this - it's awesome.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:03 AM on July 30, 2009


And might I add, that a 20 minute "disco nap" before going out clubbing is bettter than two fists fulla Red Bull.

But then what do you do about the bed hair?
posted by cjets at 10:03 AM on July 30, 2009


"disco nap"

I know this is a real thing, but whenever I hear this, it's hard to think it's not a euphemism for going off and doing some blow when you get tired.

Speaking of which, is anyone else sleepy?
posted by spaltavian at 10:13 AM on July 30, 2009


From the NYT article: people who were unemployed were more likely to nap during the week

WHAT?
posted by orme at 10:39 AM on July 30, 2009


Hey, thanks! And I should have linked to the $20 paperback rather than the $75 hardcover: The Voter's Guide to Election Polls (Paperback)

Even better. :) I'm going to see if I can borrow it from my library this weekend.
posted by zarq at 10:44 AM on July 30, 2009


I have become an accomplished napper over the past several years. its weird, because I'm a terrible sleeper (at night) must have complete silence, utter darkness, horizontality and I am often plagued with insomnia, nightmares, restless leg, tossing, turning etc.,

but I can curl up on my couch, in the full sun, in the late afternoon, to "read" and fall asleep with an ease and a restful bliss I only dream of at night....its become difficult to resist doing it every day, but it cuts into my work time pretty massively and I think my husband has a limited tolerance for returning from work to find his wifey snoring on the couch...
posted by supermedusa at 10:46 AM on July 30, 2009


For those super-groggy after a nap, you've crossed the line. Aim for shorter naps. Anything longer than about 45 minutes for me and I won't be sensible unless I'm out for 3-4 hours. Between those, I'm a complete wreck. My s.o.'s line is 30 minutes.

OTOH, one night last week I went through a (work) day on about 3 hours of sleep, and I haven't experienced falling into bed at the end of the day like that in a long, long time. Immensely satisfying. But so is getting near-frostbite and then climbing into a warm bed. I don't recommend doing either too often.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:53 AM on July 30, 2009


Caffeine makes no difference to my sleeping patterns at all; I can drink Coffee just before I go to bed and still be asleep within minutes.

I am going to start this power nap idea; sounds good.
posted by MontySwan at 11:02 AM on July 30, 2009


I wish I could sleep at night as well as I can nap in the afternoon and/or early evening. Then maybe I wouldn't need the naps in the first place.
posted by blucevalo at 11:05 AM on July 30, 2009


God-damn I would like a nap right about now.
posted by everichon at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2009


My girlfriend came up with a way to fight off the post-nap grogginess. Brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. I have no idea why it works, but it does.
posted by splatta at 12:42 PM on July 30, 2009


I take a 15-25 minute nap during my half-hour lunch break (the duration varies, and often I can't doze off again if the "cycle" terminates early). It's just the best damn thing.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2009


It's really possible to nap for only 20 minutes and not feel sleepy and crappy? I wonder what I am doing wrong. I had to stop napping because I always slept for at least 90 minutes and that messes up my sleep schedule.
posted by Danila at 1:10 PM on July 30, 2009


Was just thinking today about the beauty of a siesta in hot countries (such as Philippines, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Southern Italy, Greece, Croatia, Malta, the Middle East and North Africa). When NYC has relentlessly rainy, ie NYC dog days sweltering monsoon weather, as it has the last couple of weeks, I think Bloomberg needs to declare citywide daily siesta time until September, don't you?

Sleep pods in midtown NYC. MetroNaps. Yelo.

At Munich airport, the napcab.
posted by nickyskye at 1:25 PM on July 30, 2009


because I always slept for at least 90 minutes and that messes up my sleep schedule.

That will definitely mess it up--you can't go too deeply into your sleep cycle, or your body will need a good chunk (usually about 3 hrs. minimum). I recommend setting an alarm to make sure you're only out for 20-30 mins. and see how that goes.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:26 PM on July 30, 2009


Also, I noticed on a visit a few years ago that cities in Spain are typically very cheerful (and of course busy) from like 8-11pm, and that has to be because of their siestas.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:27 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have super napping powers. I wish more people could nap.
posted by darkstar at 2:10 PM on July 30, 2009


Every workday from 12:50 to 1:10. Feet on desk, arms crossed.
posted by docpops at 2:52 PM on July 30, 2009


I'm a medical resident. If at all possible, when I'm on-call overnight in-house, I go to my call-room early and take a nap for 30-60 minutes before I have to sign out the pagers. Sometimes there's little enough going on that this is feasible. Then even if I'm up the rest of the night I don't feel frighteningly exhausted — as in what was that drug dose? exhausted — although you still can't help but get a bit run down around Hour 22.

If I don't get the nap, I try not to make important decisions after about 01:00 in the morning. Or I take caffeine pills and feel horrible for the next 18 hours.

Why did I go into this profession again?
posted by adoarns at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2009


So that eventually you can take a daily lunchtime nap like docpops?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


LMGM: bright-eyes and busy-tailed

Saxon Kane: Rowr.


Oops. Freudian slit slut slot … shit.
posted by LMGM at 8:00 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never knew I could sleep in the middle of a well-lit lounge (natural and fluorescent lighting) full of idly chatting mechanical engineering students with some construction workers using a jackhammer in the background until this summer.

It's pretty great.
posted by rubah at 8:36 PM on July 30, 2009


The Boston Globe had a great How to Nap infographic a while back. I heart infographics.
posted by carpyful at 11:22 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the UK were a village of 100 people, 33.3 of them would take a nap every day.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:44 AM on July 31, 2009


I was just getting up from a late, late afternoon nap when reading this. Naps are one of the great joys in life.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:12 PM on July 31, 2009


Oh, good. They interviewed Maas.
posted by Eideteker at 5:13 AM on August 1, 2009


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