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One Small Change

Discovering the Power Nap


These last few days have been heady times. It’s as if I’ve discovered a new drug that I can take whenever I’m feeling fatigued and, 30 minutes later, I’m a new man. There’s no prescription, no deductible, no side effects, no worries—except, I guess, the persistent threat of getting caught.

I never really understood the term “power nap” until now, but that’s exactly how this feels. Once you train yourself to do it, there’s no messing around. You lie down, you set the alarm, you close your eyes, and you get it done. It’s definitely not your Nana’s nap.

The amazing thing is I’m falling asleep more quickly now and waking up just before the alarm sounds. It’s as if my body has adjusted to and expects this respite as part of its normal rejuvenation cycle. So far, napping hasn’t affected my nighttime rest; I can still get to bed and sleep just as long as I ever did. But my afternoons, which used to drag on, are now noticeably sharper. I no longer have that I-can’t-keep-my-eyes-open feeling. In fact, the last time I remember yawning was when my wife rented The Jane Austen Book Club. The feeling isn’t like having another cup of coffee either. It feels much better than that, with none of the abrupt highs and lows that caffeine delivers.

I call Dr. Breus.

“Do you think it’s possible to become addicted to napping?”

“Hmmm,” he says slowly. (For a second, I wonder if I woke him.) “If you’re sleepy enough to nap regularly in the middle of the day then that means you’re not getting sufficient rest at night. In other words, you’re supplementing your sleep deprivation. Unless you adjust your nighttime sleep habits to remedy that, I suppose your body could become dependent on napping, and you’ll miss it if it’s gone.”


That night I have a dream. I am unshaven, unwashed, unemployed and subsequently unloved. If I had any hair to begin with, it would have been long and matted. I’ve stopped sleeping at night in order to nap more often during the day, to more regularly feel the sweet honey of melatonin slide into my veins, fall away, and then wake up on a high like none other. And then, after a few hours, I do it again and again and again….

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Rest, Sleep