Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rant #206: Take a Snooze!

According to new research, a snooze during the middle of the day can restore or even boost your brain power.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley took a group of 39 adults and divided them into two groups. All were given a learning task at noon to test their fact-based memories. Both groups performed at comparable levels on this test. One group was then allowed to take a 90-minute nap. At 6 p.m., both groups were given a round of tasks, and those that were allowed to take a nap performed better than those who weren't allowed to get some shuteye.

What does this prove? I am sure that some will say that it proves that the Mexicans (or at least the stereotype that existed way back when) was right--a mid-day siesta is the best thing for the brain. It helps rest it, and prepares you better for the rest of the day.

Others would say that the test was faulty, because it re-tested several hours after the sleeping group had had their snooze.

Well, I don't expect my employer to allow us to go to sleep during the middle of the day, because the time spent sleeping is time that, they feel, could be put to better use.

Heck, I don't even see anyone taking a nap during our lunch break, which is from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Like most of us, there are days that I wish I could take a nap. Like right now. I am dead tired, and have been going to bed early at least six of the seven days of the week for many, many weeks. I just can't stay up anymore after a rigorous day at work.

So to those researchers--and I want to believe them, if for nothing else than my uncle taught there in the 1960s--please continue to look into the mid-day snoozes. Maybe one day, you will convince the world that such a thing should be part of our workday. You know, like when we were babies, when we needed to take a nap because, well, our parents needed it.

Keep dreaming ...

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