POWER NAPS

The corporate world is finally beginning to recognize the advantages of energy recharging periods for its workers. Until recently, management thought the benefits of catnaps applied solely to cats. Groggy staff members were expected to fight sleep and carry on until the 5 o’clock whistle.

Over the centuries prominent world leaders and scientists thought otherwise and included nap times in their daily agendas. Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have all hit the snooze button sometime between lunch and dinner and must have looked with favor on discreet napping by staff members. The rest of us risked the same rude awakenings that Dagwood Bumstead receives from Mr. Dithers.

Edison, the prolific inventor, is said to have dozed inside a cupboard in his lab to avoid being disturbed. Another account had him sleeping in a comfortable chair, holding ball bearings in each hand. When he reached the required stage of relaxation, the ball bearings spilled out noisily onto the floor and awakened him. He didn’t patent the idea so you can use it. Marbles should also work but ping pong balls would be useless.

The “Power Nap” may some day be as prevalent in America as the time-honored siesta in southern climes. Sleepy times may no longer be prescribed only for children, the elderly and the ill. Numerous experiments have proven that a short daytime doze will increase alertness, motor skills and memory and will improve morale.

Google now has sleep pods installed in staff offices since its research confirmed the benefits of a 20-minute afternoon nap. NASA has voiced agreement with the nap idea and Nike now has sleep and meditation rooms in its complexes.

The trend, which should put the whole country in a better mood, would have caught on much sooner if we had only paid more attention to our fellow mammals who are polyphasic sleepers with two or more slumber periods each day. My late and sorely missed dog Molly would be snoring beside me now, enjoying her second nap since sharing lunch with me. Soon, Molly would awaken, refreshed and in tip-top shape to take on the mail carrier. What a smart dog she was!

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