Napping used to have a bad rep; taking five to 30 minutes to recharge your batteries or make up a sleep deficit was something we associated with stereotypical ‘old dears’, people whose idea of heaven was tinned mackerel on toast at 5pm, washed down with Horlicks, while wearing the obligatory comfortable pair of sensible slippers. There were no two ways about it – napping was for the superannuated. If you viewed yourself as being in any way vibrant and vital, then it was the last thing you wanted be caught advocating, let alone actually doing. Far better, it was thought, to book a treatment like gay massage when you needed a boost.
Gradually, however, things began to change. From the 1990s onwards, the concept of the ‘power nap’ began to seep into popular culture. Bit by bit, the image of the average nap-taker started to alter. We began to picture glamorous, power-dressing executives taking 20-minute snoozes underneath their desks or on an office sofa before conducting brilliant conferences or dazzling presentations. Napping became a must-have lifestyle accessory rather than something for the sad, defeated and feeble. It was as if it had undergone a huge overhaul – a rebranding of sorts.
Now, new research lends even more weight to the idea of the nap being a decidedly good thing, and there’s even a brand-spanking-new word to describe the feeling you get afterwards – ‘nappiness’ (groan). The research took place at the University of Hertfordshire a few months ago. It wasn’t the first of its kind – prior research already demonstrated conclusively that naps of less than 30 minutes can leave people more focussed, more energised and more creative, but the newer research adds another benefit to that list – happiness!
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that naps longer than 30 minutes should be off the cards; the benefits of napping go into sharp, swift reverse when the nap is too long and a variety of health risks rear their ugly heads. For the benefits, naps need to be short. So, back to the new research – it involved over 1000 people and the results indicated that power-nappers (ie those whose kips lasted under 30 minutes) were more likely to be happy than long-nappers and no-nappers.
Alas, only 11 per cent of participants stated that they were allowed to nap at work. Just imagine a more progressive world where work-naps were not merely tolerated but wholeheartedly encouraged. Think of the happiness, productivity, the fired-up imaginations and the creativity that could be set free if the workplace got its act together and put employee wellbeing first. Instead, the modern office can be a prison of intolerable slavishness where people are expected to run themselves into the ground. If this is an accurate description of where you work, and naps aren’t an option, then do yourself and your mind and body a massive favour and book a 90 minute session of gay massage London.