The other day I applied for a job at Examiner.com. When asked for my bio, I wrote that I am on a one woman mission to get the world to take a nap everyday.
We need our siestas!
Mom always took a nap and I still remember fondly the feeling of growing drowsy watching her sleep, then dozing off myself. It’s a rosy and pastoral memory: it’s warm, the birds are chirping, life is good, time is unlimited. No where to go, nothing to do. (Of course, back in the sixties, at 2:00 p.m. on a weekday, there were no interesting t.v. shows on until 4:30, and definitely no video games or internet to browse…just the same toys on the ground I played with all morning) but that was good.
I honestly believe that shutting down the body–no sugary sweets or caffeine required to “keep going–will help stop obesity in America.
I also believe that our need to “check out” by watching t.v. or playing games on the screen are lesser alternatives to sleep…a faulty mirror that allows us to think we are resting and relaxing, but we are not.
As a nation we are tired, our days are too long, we need a small break–but a REAL break– so our brains can soak and distribute information and restart the day. Twenty minutes of black out sleep will do.
Erik and I always take a nap and when we cannot get to take one, we are not as effective as teachers and we know it.
So, just days later, here’s more support from the Psych Department at UCB: Thanks NYT!
Behavior: Napping Can Prime the Brain for Learning
By RONI CARYN RABIN
Published: February 22, 2010
Bring back the siesta.
It turns out that toddlers are not the only ones who do better after an afternoon nap. New research has found that young adults who slept for 90 minutes after lunch raised their learning power, their memory apparently primed to absorb new facts.
Other studies have indicated that sleep helps consolidate memories after cramming, but the new study suggests that sleep can actually restore the ability to learn.
The findings, which have not yet been published, were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.
“You need to sleep before learning, to prepare your brain, like a dry sponge, to absorb new information,” said the lead investigator, Matthew P. Walker, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley.
The study recruited 39 healthy young adults and divided them into two groups. All 39 were asked to learn 100 names and faces at noon, and then to learn a different set of names and faces at 6 p.m. But 20 of the volunteers who slept for 90 minutes between the two learning sessions improved their scores by 10 percent on average after sleeping; the scores of those who didn’t nap actually dropped by 10 percent.