Sleep_womanIt’s 2:14 p.m.

Your eyelids are feeling heavy, and now you’re stifling a yawn. A few minutes ago you arrived back in the office, fresh off a satisfying lunch. But now you’re in the throes of what is undeniably a mid-afternoon crash.

You reach for your coffee mug and head for a refill when a coworker stops you in the hall. He’s discovered an alternative treatment, he tells you. Like caffeine, it improves concentration and alleviates drowsiness. But it won’t give you heartburn or heighten your blood pressure. It’s also been clinically proven to elevate your mood, enhance your creativity, and improve your memory.

Sound too good to be true?

It turns out that you used to use this technique all the time. So did your ancient ancestors. It’s called napping.

Now, before you dismiss the idea of workplace napping out of hand (as I did before conducting the research for this book), consider the facts. As sleep researcher Sara Mednick notes in her book, Take a Nap! Change Your Life, 20-to 30-minute naps have been shown to:

— boost productivity

— increase alertness

— quicken motor reflexes

— improve accuracy

— strengthen stamina

— improve decision making

— elevate mood

— enhance creativity

— bolster memory

— lower stress

— reduce dependence on drugs and alcohol

— lessen the frequency of migraines and ulcers

— promote weight loss

— minimize the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer risk

Not bad for about the same amount of time it takes to visit a Starbucks.

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