My Lifehacker Comment on Napping

As a freelance writer/teacher and now graduate student, I find my schedule pretty full. I work the whole day and come home for a lunch break. Then I leave again for the afternoon. I tend to come home anywhere between 4PM and 8PM, depending on the day. I’ll go out for bike rides 5 times a week.

Since I only start writing after midnight, I usually go to bed at around 2 or 3 AM. I wake up at 8AM. I have to be at school for about 9AM, so my routine is scheduled by the minute in the mornings. This includes taking a shower and walking the dog. This means that I need a nap to function correctly. I usually take a 20-45 minute nap during my lunch break, which is usually from 12 to 1:30PM. That’s my power nap.

I also train in cycling and ride at least 400 km a week.

[This will be true of starting this week. I'll write more about what impact my daily training has had in my life at a later date. ]

This means that if I finish my day early, let’s say around 4PM, I’ll come home and take a nap before going out to cycle. Without the nap, I wouldn’t always be able to train.

Napping is very common in Asia, though I haven’t grown up there.

[Almost everyone naps because they have very long days, even the teachers. Nap time lasts from 12:30 to 1:45PM in most places]

In the US and Canada, napping is usually seen as being lazy, though taking power naps and caffeine naps is really energizing and can be used systematically in order to function for long periods of time at full capacity, without nodding off.

Power naps are short. Anything from 20 to 45 minutes is usually enough to reinvigorate you. If you nap for more time, you’ll likely end up more tired. A good thing to remember is that a usual sleep cycle lasts about 3 hours. So either nap for 20-45 minutes or 3 hours.

This was my comment for this post on Lifehacker. This was in response to this NYT article on who naps.

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