Ray and I are on a mini-vacation. Recently, my travels and his back-to-back trade shows had made us passing ships in our house. We hadn’t spent any quality time together in over a month. So when I got booked for a design-thinking workshop in Portland right after his busy period was scheduled to end, we decided to make it a little get-away. The workshop went great. And we now have 2.5 days to explore this city, which neither of us have done before. So what do we choose to do with our time?
Ray and I love to nap on vacation. We did it every day when we were in Rome back in October (which was our first real vacation in 4 years). We developed a pattern that really worked for us: wake up, have breakfast, explore-explore-explore, return to hotel, nap for few hours, wake up, head out for dinner and drinking.
It made our vacation feel twice as long!
Today after a lovely lunch with two of Ray’s work contacts, we explored the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a really cool place, but after a few hours mingling with all the kiddos on spring break, I could feel that desire for a nap creeping on. So we headed back to the hotel for our vacation tradition.
I love the feeling of waking up from a nap. It’s different from waking up in the morning. I consider myself a morning person, so I’m generally happy and productive as I start my day. But the nap wake-up is different. It is definitely more luxurious. Somehow, waking up AGAIN makes me happier, and gives me an even bigger productivity spurt.
I work from home, so there’s no problem with me taking an afternoon nap whenever I feel myself lagging. But I still feel guilty doing it, despite my recognition that it makes my post-nap hours much more productive. The fact that I nap more consistently while on vacation than while working is pretty ironic!
There’s definitely brain research on this. Other cultures do it. And I know that forward-thinking tech companies are starting to build nap rooms. I would love for napping to become as socially acceptable as “going to the gym” during lunch.
Arianna Huffington is probably one of the most outspoken advocates of sleep. The Huffington Post has two nap rooms that are constantly booked. If we as a society could simply stop the glorification of exhaustion, perhaps we could unleash much more power and creative energy. In her words, “we are going to sleep our way to the top.”