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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Take a Nap! Change Your Life

Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D. with Mark Ehrman. New York: Workman Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 978-0-7611-4290-4

The authors present the latest sleep an nap research suggesting that humankind evolved to take naps. We are all aware of our natural circadian rhythm, and the tendency for a drop in energy in the afternoon, typically between 1 and 3 PM. This book makes the scientific case for napping, and attempts to explain how the right length of nap at the right time can make a significant difference in just about anyone's life. Dr. Mednick provides a “nap wheel” on her website which helps determine the right time for “the ultimate nap.”

Definitely an interesting book, and without having put it into practice (yet, anyway), I will admit to being a willing believer in the efficacy of naps. Less convincing to me was all the hullabaloo about different lengths of naps for different effects, including increased creativity, improving memory, and other specific intellectual or physical activities. All the details get too complicated to easily remember.

Here's the easy takeaway, however: even a 20 minute nap can make a big difference. 60-90 minute naps are about the limit; any more, and you're likely to wake up feeling “groggy.” This book is recommended for anyone interested in the science behind napping.

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