Postprandial plunge: to nap or not to nap?

Postprandial: following a meal

Plunge: to descend precipitously

Perhaps I exaggerate – but plunge was the only p-word that comes close to what happens to me after lunch most days… (and after as little as one glass of wine w. dinner) – I want to get horizontal and shut my eyes.

Supposedly it has something to do with blood sugar levels, but it doesn’t seem to matter whether I eat a low or high carb meal; I just get sleepy.

And then I resist it.  I sit at my computer trying to write, trying to compute, trying to think through a problem — gaining no traction but refusing to succumb.  If I get up and tackle a physical chore I can sometimes barrel through it, but at a detriment to my effectiveness.

Half an hour after a nap it’s as if I rebooted my whole system, and all the resource-hogging resident programs in my brain have cleared out.  My question to myself is this: why don’t I just go with the flow and make room in my schedule for a daily nap?

Napping is a high art in some cultures; there’s no shame attached to it. It’s probably good for your health, as a recent study from Greece indicates.   From that story in the NY Times:

Now, out of Greece, comes permission to do exactly that. A study of more than 23,000 adults shows that those who napped for about 30 minutes each week had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack than those who did not.

So this should mean that all working Americans will receive permission from their bosses to close their eyes every afternoon at about 4 p.m., right?

Don’t bet your blankie on it.

This is hardly the first study showing that sleep is more than simply time when we really should be at work. Other studies, though few as extensive as the Greek research, show that short periods of sleep during the day increase productivity and creativity while reducing stress. And even without surveys, we know this from experience.

When you need a nap, you need a nap. Nothing — not caffeine, not a chocolate bar, not a pill — recharges the battery in the same way.

I welcome you to join me…

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One response to “Postprandial plunge: to nap or not to nap?

  1. Pingback: Pick-me-up: the power nap « 365 Words Beginning with P