Napping is good for your brain.In a recent TED talk, University of California Psychology and Neuroscience Professor, Matthew Walker, gives three good reasons to believe we all become psychotic when we sleep:
1. You see things that simply were not there (you hallucinate).
2. You believe things that could not possibly be true (you become delusional).
3. When you wake up, you probably forget most if not all of what happened (you experience amnesia).
Watch the complete video here.
Matthew Walker is one of my scientific heroes. The man has literally it his mission to prove that midday naps are a vital to learning and that dreams aid in emotional processing. How cool is that? I was talking to a friend yesterday about how in America (and much of the "modernized" world), we really devalue the importance of sleep in an effort to be more productive. In most cultures throughout history, there has been time set aside -- usually right after lunch -- for people to rest, digest, have a little siesta before getting back to work.
Now, we're seeing the American work-your-tail-off-9am-to-5pm model being embraced in developing countries all around the world. The underlying assumption is that skipping sleep and working more will make us more productive. But according to Walker's research... that's not necessarily the case. I've always been taught that naps are for lazy people, something you only get to do if you're feeling sick or have a lot of time on your hands. Sleep, however, appears to be a far more complex and integral phenomenon than we give it credit for.
A thirty-minute cat nap can help consolidate memory, enhance cognitive skills, and support the integration of emotional experiences. As this neat infographic shows, you'll actually die from lack of sleep before you will starvation. Sometimes, you're more productive with your head on a pillow than in front of a computer screen.
So maybe catching a few extra Zzzzzz after lunch isn't such a bad thing after all, even if it does make you a little psychotic.
Dave DockinsChelsea Roff is Managing Editor at Intent.com. She is a writer by day and yoga teacher by night, a weaver of words as well as of asanas. Chelsea is passionate about using online media to inspire action that serves a greater cause -- whether it be the expansion of knowledge, support of our global community, or improvement of planetary and personal health. She travels the country teaching yoga in the most non-traditional of spaces, from cocktail parties to public protests to centers for at-risk youth. Chelsea currently lives in Santa Monica, CA, where she can be found cartwheeling across the beach, hiking in the mountains, and practicing yoga poses on her little pink scooter.