Power Nap Your Way to Increased Productivity and Decreased Blood Pressure
Hey, sleepyhead, want a raise? Go tell your boss you'll be back in an hour . . . after your nap!
Really, it could happen if your boss understands how much more productive and heart-healthy a nap can make you. After just 45 to 60 minutes of daytime ZZZs, you bounce back to work like a Zen master and reduce your blood pressure. (Rate your sleep -- see how to improve.)
Needing a little nap isn't surprising. Between late-night tweeting and channel surfing, most of us sleep almost 2 hours less per night than folks did 50 years ago. That snooze deficit is costing a fortune: annually, more than $100 billion in sick leave, medical costs, and lost productivity in the United States alone! Yep, serious money. Poor sleep makes you eat more and gain weight; it also kicks up your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and more. (Get to the bottom of your sleep problems with this quick sleep assessment.)
Can't take a nap? Then use that midday time to set yourself up for great sleep at night:
- Take an afternoon walk (outdoors if possible, around the hallways if not) or, if there's an office gym, use it at siesta time.
- Do a daytime text and e-mail blitz so you can ignore all that at night. The light from the screens of computers and cell phones (TVs, too) keeps your brain in wake-up mode.
- Bonus: You'll wake up smarter, too. A good night's sleep does great things for your ability to store and recall what you learned during the day. (Find other secrets to a good night's sleep.)
Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night but not more than 9 -- can make your RealAge as much as 1.5 years younger if you're a woman and 0.9 years younger if you're a man. Take the RealAge Test!