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Increase Productivity, Mood and Performance with Power Naps

Napping might be thought of by some as a luxury but in reality it is a necessity that many of us would benefit from embracing.

My son is out to get me. For the last few months he has been waking up two, three, four times a night. On top of that my poor aging dog (Who actually isn’t small at all) has taken to whining just as I settle into bed for the night and then the cat proceeds to circle looking for a comfortable position to sleep – which usually ends up being directly on my head. And of course they all take turns in this charming little charade so that just as one settles down, the other acts up.

I don’t know what I ever did to them, but all of this leads to me feeling like the walking dead from a consistent lack of sleep. (That’s me in the picture there.)

Foggy brain, lack of concentration, feeling run-down, zero energy and snappish moods ….. oh, now I remember why getting enough sleep at night is important.

So what’s a girl to do besides loading up on caffeine and relying on the mood boost of sweet treats – both of which become an addictive cycle that's hard to break?

The answer is power naps. Studies show that midday naps increase alertness, productivity, mood and performance. When those naps contain REM sleep an enhancement in creativity and problem solving is also shown. A comparison between the effects of caffeine vs. napping vs. placebo on visual, motor and verbal skills even shows that caffeine alone decreases verbal and motor skills while napping enhanced performance across all three tasks.

It is also being shown that during sleep our brain is able to convert all of the information we are holding onto into memory and file it away, leaving room to acquire new information upon awaking. Naps clear out the cobwebs, boost our mood and leave us more alert, productive and receptive to learning. What’s more surprising is that a midday nap was found to be even more effective than simply getting more sleep at night!

It makes sense. Anyone, with or without a child of their own, can take one look at a grumpy, non-cooperative preschooler that can’t sit still or pay attention and declare “Someone needs a nap!” On the road to becoming an adult – when did the rules change? The answer is that they didn’t. In fact, in a time when we are bombarded with a non-stop stream of information even in our “off time,” a midday snooze to clear our minds and process some of that information is not only still necessary, but perhaps even critical. We sleep for an average of six to seven hours a night followed by a 17 – 18 hour stretch of alertness, productivity, information gathering, interactions, and tasking. Theoretically anyway. The better question may just be: Who in the world doesn’t need a nap around one o’clock?!

Still not sold on the the benefits of napping? Consider these professed nappers, some of whom you may recognize: Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Edison and Aristotle. So go ahead and give your mind and body a midday rest. You don’t need to be a genius to feel the difference it will make.

Sources: NY Times: The Workplace Coffee Effect, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NY Times: A Look at Who Naps, NPR: Naps May Improve Performance Later in The Day, Psychology Today: Nap vs. Caffeine vs. More Nighttime Sleep?



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Hey there, I'm Juliette (She/her) – I'm a Bodyworker and Writer.

I run a thriving massage practice in the East Bay California, where I've helped thousands of people feel amazing in their bodies.
When I'm not helping people feel better in their bodies or writing about wellness, practice-building and the messy art of being human, you can find me hanging with my family, curled up with some chocolate and a book, drinking room-temperature tea or hiking the gorgeous Bay Area with my pup.

My daily grind involves battling my brain to carve out a space for healthier living, personal growth, and a pinch more self-love. It's an ongoing challenge!

Join me as I explore wellness of the head, heart and body. 

Stay curious, stay humble, stay kind.



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Juliette Wilk is a licensed and certified Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience. She runs a thriving private practice in East Bay California, where she's helped thousands of people feel better in their bodies. When she's not helping people achieve a state of bliss or writing on wellness and practice-building topics, you can find her hanging with her family and pup, curled up with a book, drinking room-temperature tea or hiking the gorgeous Bay Area. Work with her or read more @


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