I often think we should look to nature and particularly the animal kingdom for clues to healthy living. Not in a lion-chasing-down-a-gazelle-Wild Kingdom sort of way, but in an eat-sleep-play-because-it-makes-you-feel-good sort of way.
In the past we’ve talked about how even the wildest animals create opportunities to experience intrinsic joy through play. We’ve also explored how in nature, animals will select the better tasting, more nutritious foods to eat. And now there’s evidence animals snooze throughout the day because it’s good for them.
Take cats for instance. They love to nap. (Hence the term cat nap). Well, according to scientists at UC Berkeley, taking a cat nap everyday just might make you smarter. There’s plenty of evidence that getting a good night’s sleep helps us to live healthier lives , but now there’s evidence that the effects of a good old-fashioned siesta has a real effect on our brains, memory, learning abilities and overall recovery.
When I worked at Starbucks, there were actually sleep chambers scattered throughout the corporate offices. A nice gesture, but every time I rushed by on my way to a meeting, I’d think, ‘would anyone risk actually being seen walking out of there?’ Does anyone really have the you-know-what to go in there and take a nap? Maybe they did, but I certainly never saw it.
So, this brings me to my question. If it’s a proven fact that taking a cat nap during the day could help you be more alert, allow time for information to download from your brain (leaving more space for new data to upload), would your company allow you to catch forty winks during prime working hours?
Or does our need to please, appear busy and productive out weigh the scientific evidence? Breaking the cultural mores of your working environment is a very tough thing to do. Could you? What do you think would happen if you told your boss you need to take a 30 minute nap?