Saturday, February 12, 2011

Conk Out

I used to hate naps. Falling asleep in the middle of the day meant I was missing something -- no matter how insignificant -- and I always overslept, which means I'd be all foggy-headed and parched whenever I'd jerk awake.

But that was before I had kids. Now, I'd kill for a nap. When the boys are running me ragged, I seriously contemplate walking out to my car, reclining the seat, and dozing off in the driveway.

Turns out napping's good for you. In fact:
Humans are among the few animals that take their sleep in one shot. The rest of the animal kingdom consists of polyphasic sleepers; they alternate sleep and wake cycles throughout a 24 hour period. Cavemen likely slept in multiple phases too, so someone was always up to keep an eye out for saber tooth tigers. While experimenting with a return to polyphasic sleep has become trendy in recent times, the ideal pattern for human sleep is biphasic–a long stretch at night along with a shorter respite during the day.
A nice, restful nap sounds awesome. And as Tim Ferriss' "The 4-Hour Body" claims: "[r]emarkably, adding just one [20-minute] nap during the day shaves an hour and 40 minutes off your total sleep requirement."

This might be just the ticket for those days when I wake up before dawn to go brutalize energize myself at CrossFit. I gotta pull me a George Costanza and start napping under my office desk.

I don't have the time or inclination, however, to experiment with a full-on Uberman polyphasic sleep protocol like some people -- including Cosmo Kramer.

All this talk of sleep is making me sleepy. 'Night.