In many parts of the world, a midday nap is part of the culture. Apparently, I live in the wrong country.
For years I’ve taken a ribbing from my family and friends over my love of naps. I’m not just a ten-minute-rest kind of napper. Nope. Not me. If I lay down in the afternoon, I’m sleeping for at least an hour, maybe two. And I’ll still sleep the full eight hours that night.
So, I was gratified to read about a study at UC Berkeley where the group was subjected to a learning exercise, then half of the subjects took a 90 minute nap at 2pm. At 6pm the entire group participated in another learning exercise.
According to the results, those “who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning. In contrast, those who napped did markedly better and actually improved in their capacity to learn”.
Another nap study at UC San Diego–apparently I should have stayed in CA where they value napping as much as I do!–found that “Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep enhances creative problem-solving”. And what writer doesn’t need to enhance their creative problem-solving?
Since I almost always dream during my naps, that means I’m giving my creativity boost. So next time I get the urge to take a nap, I can just say I’m working on my writing. 🙂