HS Daze, Part III: Nap Club – the Zen & Art of the Power Nap

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Janet DeMannequin is no dummy or walking stiff when it comes to getting her beauty sleep. When she can’t get a full night’s sleep (8.5-9.5 hours), she’s one smart cat who finds time to power nap. She likes to be someone known to be regularly “caught napping.” She just wants to know when’s the next MPNC meeting!

You may not realize it, but humans are physiologically hardwired to nap.

Don’t believe me, well then I submit the links to the articles listed below for your reading enjoyment and nap time edification.

WIth HSers, especially Cross Country athletes, with yeoman farmer-like early morning practices and yet biologically possessing the natural circadian rhythms of a vampire-like night shifter, and thus living with a biological life at total odds with their school and athletics schedules, what’s a teen to do?

In our prior stories providing tips on good sleep hygiene (HS Daze: The Importance of Being Earnest about Sleep for High Schoolers, and HS Daze II: The Importance of Being Earnest about Sleep for HS Student-Athletes), we looked at the problem from a bed time story – morning glory angle. But if you can’t “oneth by night”, then why not “dueth by day”, no? So, if you can, don’t fight the urge to nap by day; rather, join the club, that is the day time Nap Club! It beats playing the caffeine game or waging a Fight Club against zzz time – for purposes of becoming a healthy, wealthy and wise HSer.

Don’t believe me (again), well then consider famous Nap Club members, like Winston 306Churchill, who used his power naps to help England and the Allied Powers win the Battle of Britain during WWII. His personal Iron Curtain dropped right after lunch each day. 🙂

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Not only is Janet DeMannequin “lean and mean”, but she always says: “Hey guys, don’t hesitate to lean on me when you need to catch some zzzzs!”

Then there’s these guys, and gal: Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas A. EdisonJohn D. RockefellerEleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Yes, a famous bunch of slouches and slackers, all of them! But they knew something that most of the rest of us haven’t quite caught on to, at least not yet. That’s the fact that a post lunch siesta is muy bien for the human condition.

So, for any of you XC runners that might be whining about how you can’t join any clubs that meet before school due to your cross country practice schedule, we submit for your consideration an idea that will look great on a college resume — an officer position in the prestigious “Marcus Power Nap Club!” Seriously, the “MPNC” could help make you a good knight who rules the day!!!

There’s a HS Power Napping Club in CT that’s been vegging out for more than 15 years now. It’s motto isn’t R.I.P, Van Winkle, but rather: Veni, Vidi, Dormici (that’s Latin for I came, I saw, I slept) {see articles below for details, even videos}.  

A student led Power Napping Club, if you can eat a fast lunch (and you don’t have that 33702_1668845206445_1396796533_31742755_3928253_n[1]goofy broken up short divided lunch schedule), could beef up your resume, get you better grades and help you run faster. Bet Coaches B, H & T might help you find the right place to meet if it does what the studies show – maximize winning and minimize injuries (see HS Daze II story about that). Now that’s a lights out, dream-team, total slam dunk that has the Sand Man rocking the cradle back at da’ crib.

338 AA 10-15-20 minute power cat nap is like pushing a human reset button. And a nap is way better for teens and adults than an afternoon cup of Joe, or any other caffeinated beverages. So, what are the key tips to a good power nap?

S-Nappy Tips:  Here’s some nap tips gleaned from the sleep expertise noted in the articles cited below:

  • Timing is Everything. Total duration of 10-15-20 minutes of zzz’s to get your body and brain from Stage 1 Sleep (just dozing off during the first 10 minutes of sleep) into Stage 2 Sleep (where brain activity slows, which is the second 10 minutes of sleep). If you nap longer than 20 minutes, you head into Stage 3 or 4 Sleep (deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep) and you won’t wake easily or feel rested. Rather, you’ll feel groggy and tired if you sleep more than 20 minutes and don’t complete a full REM sleep cycle which typically runs 90 minutes. So, a 10-15-20 minute nap is the perfect nap time to avoid that groggy feeling. It will increase your alertness the rest of the day!
  • Short is Sweet. Set your mobile for 30 minutes or less. Experiment with what duration works best for you, and get into the habit of power napping. Practice makes perfect. Note if you go for the full 30 minutes, you’re likely to need more time to snap to and get back with it. So if you really need to go straight back into class asap, it 338would be best to take a 10-15 minute nap, no more.
  • Lay down Sally. If you can, incline, because laying down should make it easier to fall asleep quickly versus sitting up in a chair.
  • Comfy Shoes. Kick off your shoes, and get comfy.
  • Linus Knows Best. Bring your security blanket! That’s right, because your body temp drops when you sleep, your bunky can help you secure a good sleep.
  • The Art of Noise. Don’t forget to try using some white noise to block out the day – like a fan – or maybe smooth, easy listening, soothing music (a/k/a your parents musak or some low-key, boring classical stuff). 😉
  • Zero Dark 30. Find a dark room – for the ultimate Zero Dark 30, to make your personal Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
  • Masked Man. Use an eye or face mask, or an eye pillow. They’re not just for beauty queens and your Granny Bessie!
  • Nike Time. Just do it – right after lunch.
  • Perfect Sleep Numbers. But don’t nap after 4 pm, if you can help it, except when you need an emergency z rehab session – keep those “right after school” naps to 30 minutes or less. So, set that super annoying tune on your phone to make sure you get up – no snooze button action, lest you lose sleep at night.
  • Just Right. The Goldilocks sweet spot for napping is between 1-3 pm, so overall shoot for between 12-4, and again ideally right after lunch. If you’re an early bird, a lark, you want to nap before 130 pm, and if you’re a night owl, then between 130-3 would be best.
  • I Wanna Be Sedated. Insomniacs need not apply. So skip this advice if you’re an insomniac, as you’re not a good candidate for Nap Club.
  • Driver 8. If you’ve got extra time, say on the weekend, shoot for a 90 minute nap, which will get you one full REM deep sleep cycle. But no more. Set that annoying phone tune as an alarm at 90 minutes and get up – don’t hit the snooze button.

Want to learn more and apply for an officer position in Nap Club? Start with these sleep experts’ articles welcoming you into the arms of Morpheus, the good old Greek God of sleep and dreams:

TEEN NAP INFO:

MORE S’NAPPY INFO:

NAP TAKING TIPS:

 HS POWER NAP CLUB

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