I have a very clear daily rhythm. My best writing, clarity, creativeness, code, whatever happens in the first 5-6 hours after I wake up in the morning. After that, my ability to concentrate drops off significantly. My energy level slows significantly. By the evening, it’s almost like I’m viewing the world as a different person.
The modern solution is to slam a RedBull and push through it.
This temporary and probably very unhealthy solution pales in comparison to something I’ve been trying to master over the last few weeks: the power nap.
I’m talking about a 20 minute sleep in the middle of the day. There are many studies that show that sleep is essential to brain function in mammals and an improvement in reaction time after even a 5 minute nap is significant. It’s rumored that Albert Einstein was a frequent napper.
Our modern RedBull society views sleep as a weakness, but I say nay nay. When done right, a 20 minute downtime is not only 3 bucks cheaper than a RedBull, but actually works better. I find that I can work with that same clarity of mind for another 5-6 hours afterward that I enjoy in the morning.
The trick is to do it right. 20 mins, no longer. Longer naps put you in a deep sleep cycle that can be hard to get out of. You want to be restored, not groggy.
Using it as a substitute for staying up late every night playing World of Warcraft isn’t right either.
It’s not lazy, it’s smart. I’ll bet you a case of RedBull that your doctor would tell you it’s the right thing to do.