Embrace the cat-nap
Futon Company says: Now that life is getting back on track for good (fingers firmly crossed as we say this) it seems like this might be an opportune time to reflect on some of the lessons we’ve learned from Lockdown over the past 15 months or so. Off the top of our head, these are some of the things that have benefitted us after month on month of confinement: 1) exercising in the fresh air (yes in hail as well as sunshine) is one of the most amazing things to do, especially if you want a really deep sleep that night 2) it is possible to stay social even when you’re under house arrest (thank you Zoom, Teams, phone and FaceTime) but nothing beats the real thing. Our friends and family really are more important than anything else 3) personal grooming is key to confidence. So, when our hairdressers and beauticians aren’t available, we have to dig really deep to find other ways to look (and ultimately feel) our best (thank you lipstick and hairbands!) 4) it is still possible to enjoy your life, and even thrive, when most of your personal freedoms have been taken away. You just have to more imaginative! So that’s our list, and reading a recent copy of the Sunday Times it seems that there are some other lessons to learn from people on furlough or WFH
Says journalist Sarah Datum: There is no biological reason for dozing at night. We should be encouraged to sleep on the job even when we go back to the office….. If the pandemic-enforced shift to working from home was a wrench, there’s an even bigger shock to come as lockdown lifts and employees return to the office. Home working has involved many unpleasant features, from backache-inducing ad-hoc workstations to interruptions from children (and pets, although this has been a bonus in our eyes!). But it has also given millions access to one of life’s greatest pleasures: the sneaky workday nap…. As a long time freelancer, napping has been part of my life for years. If I have to work evenings to meet deadlines, the payoff comes when a free afternoon arrives, and I slide under my duvet for a 20-minute kip. A nap can leave you refreshed and productive in a way that stubbornly yawning over your laptop never will. Now enough people have joined me, there’s a market for ‘nap-dresses’ – essentially nighties that are chic enough to be seen on a video call…
Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London says those who have napped over lockdown have probably found a sleeping pattern that suits their body clocks. It’s just because of the industrial revolution that we’ve got this mad idea of sleeping at night. What we’ve been doing in our working lives is pretty unnatural for a lot of people… Even under normal conditions, many of us don’t get enough sleep in the night. The stress of the past year has exacerbated that, with the number of people suffering from sleep problems leaping from one in six to one in four. But it doesn’t take a pandemic to justify your nap. The health benefits of sleep are well documented. A 2007 study of Greek adults found that those who took an occasional siesta had a 12% lower risk of dying from heart disease, while systematic nappers had a 37% lower coronary mortality.
Many of history’s highest achievers have been nap-takers, including Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali…. Timing your nap correctly is crucial to avoid grogginess. People usually sleep in 20 minute cycles. Once you’ve passed into the deep-sleep phase, waking up is likely to leave you bleary-eyed and feeling worse than before you went to bed, so the ideal is to keep your nap to about 20 minutes. Walsh suggests drinking a pre-nap coffee: the caffeine should kick in just as you need to stir…. Despite the evidence in favour of napping, few employers encourage it. Unless you work at Nike or Google HQ and have access to a sleep pod, you might need to prepare for a post-nap life when you return to the office. If naps have been good for you, Walsh suggests trying to take them two or three times a week if a daily snooze can’t be sustained
Futon company concludes: All hail the cat-nap! Whether your naps are daily or limited to days off, make an occasion out of home-napping with sleep-inducing kit that’s guaranteed to get you in the mood! Zzzzzzzzzz – it’s time to embrace the cat-nap