Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Sleep on it...and be smarter

Here I am in the Qantas Club lounge at Brisbane airport. Through a combination of lost baggage (thankfully refound) and cancelled flights I’ve been enjoying the dubious culinary pleasures on offer here for nearly seven hours. And having dozed twice on the plane and once here at my makeshift office-on-the-road, I’ve been put much in mind of the idea of sleep…

A longstanding devotee of the "power nap" (15 minutes usually does the trick for me) I was utterly chuffed (or stoked, depending on your geographical linguistic preference) to find this little gem on one of my favourite blogs.

The highlights:

…we live in a 24/7 world, fuelled by ever-present deadlines, demands and responsibilities. With so much to do and so little time, it seems tempting, or perhaps even necessary, to shave off a few hours of sleep in order to get things done. Given this chronic shortage of shuteye, wouldn't it be wonderful if a quick nap could refresh us mentally and improve our memories? Results from a recent study suggest that a mere six-minute nap may be able do just that.

More than just a pleasant diversion (or a way to keep from crashing your car on the highway during long trips) sleep plays a key role in learning:

Sleep has been shown to promote consolidation of various kinds of memory, from procedural skills (for example, learning to play a musical instrument or mastering a sport), to episodic memories (such as remembering facts and experiences learned during the day).

So, whether you’re in Australia heading into the long ANZAC day weekend or elsewhere in the world enjoying the onset of spring/autumn, my counsel to you would be: get some rest, you probably need it!


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