“I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.” —Yogi Berra
This year may be a personal record for New Year’s resolutions. It’s March and my resolve to lose weight is not on life support yet. Granted, my 2019 weight loss program may have been napping as New Year’s celebrations were ending, but it was ready by the time Mardi Grad revelers were getting revved up.
While my goal seems like hoping I can pull my 30-foot travel trailer with a Volkswagen, at least it didn’t come unhitched the first week I started. I’m happy to report I have not only lost weight, but I have also successfully transitioned my exercising from watching television and the treadmill at the same time to one of watching television while on the treadmill. I plan to be up to ten minutes any day now.
Truth is, however, one resolution may be in trouble: the one about more sleep. Yawning every afternoon is an exercise that burns no calories. It’s the exercise where you are busy doing something that requires functioning brain cells despite your eyes becoming heavy, your head starting to tilt, uncontrollable sensations of sleep coming over you and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Fortunately, my head goes just so far before it rebounds with a jolt and I’m wide awake again. While I haven’t researched the company handbook, I’m confident napping on the job is not an approved perk although I am convinced it can be a benefit.
Well, not napping on the job, per se, but power naps during lunch breaks. Many sources claim they’re not only healthy in many ways but also a boon to afternoon productivity. It’s a concept in which I have invested much research over the years.
My first in-depth research in napping at work dates to 1968 while employed by Hinton Production Company in the Talco oil fields. Good friend then and now, David Neeley and I were on that same program working summer jobs between college semesters. David worked in the machine shop and I worked on the production field maintenance crew
As a side note, let the record reflect that was hands down the hardest work I have ever done. If I had any notions of quitting college then, that summer’s work was probably the ultimate motivation to stay in school forever.
It had to be the hard work that required research carried out in the shop where a huge fan created fine breezes. Lunch quickly consumed, David and I kicked back for a quick nap in front of the big fan before returning to the East Texas summer heat and hard work.
Some 15 years later at the Light and Champion newspaper office in Center found me conducting further research after reading an article touting the refreshing benefits of mid-day lunch naps. A closed door with the phone turned off afforded me a short nap leaned back in my office chair.
My next lunch-time napping research came during my days at the Boerne newspaper. That program included exercise more closely resembling a complete mid-day makeover. A nearby health club with lockers, dressing rooms, showers, and a sauna turned power naps into mid-day breaks with a short workout, nap in the sauna and shower before returning to the office. That routine served to break up many of the long days required at Boerne while invigorating the afternoons to make them as refreshing as the mornings.
With these head-nodding moments sneaking up on me again, I’m thinking it may be time for another round of research. Should you find my office door closed in the coming weeks, I’m not napping on the job, I’m simply conducting more research.
Aldridge columns are also published in the Center, Texas Light and Champion and the Mount Pleasant, Texas, Tribune.