Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Napping Fights Heart Disease

In some of the best news ever reported, the Washington Post ran an article about the health benefits of napping. A recent study found that “those who napped at least three times weekly for about half an hour had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart attacks or other heart problems than those who did not nap.” Napping, it seems, especially in the middle of the day while at work, reduces stress. Of course, the draw backs of napping at work include getting fired, which raises ones stress level considerably. For some reason, the healthy effects of napping were seen most clearly in men. I have empirical evidence to back this up: most of the snoring in my office comes from men, although it’s hard to tell which men. Snorers are like crickets; when you try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from, it suddenly ceases, only to start up again somewhere else deceptively close by.

(On a side note, the article also includes what is perhaps the single greatest sentence ever written in modern journalism: “It's likely that women reap similar benefits from napping, but not enough of them died during the study to be sure…”)

The test subjects were in Greece where, apparently, napping at work is an acceptable, almost expected part of the conditions of employment. Kind of like federal employment. Although here in DC, unless you are really old and a GS-15, napping is not totally acceptable. Yet. So I’m happy to see the work-place nap getting the attention it finally deserves. I’ve made a rather in-depth and personal study of the matter. I have much more research to do, but so far, I’ve found many benefits to napping, such as missing annoying phone calls, ignoring emails, and being able to stay up and watch David Letterman without nodding off. Napping also builds certain necessary bureaucratic survival skills, such as “excuse making,” (pretending your praying, saying your doctor told you to avoid eye strain) and extra sensory perception (being able to know when your boss is approaching your cube even when immersed in full REM sleep).

We still have a way to go in this country before one can snore loudly in one’s cubicle without embarrassment. But this study is a step in the right direction. I see a day some time soon when federal buildings all across the land with have “rest facilities” with low lighting, fluffy pillows, and (hopefully) fooz-ball tables. Until then, I will continue my research, ever pushing the edge of the envelope (which usually ends up stuck to my forehead.)

1 comment:

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