Experiencing a midweek energy slump? Have a nap! Like so many solutions to life’s little problems, this one comes to us from nature. Humans are monophasic sleepers (and have been since some point between 70,000-40,000 BC) – once we leave childhood naps behind us, our sleep is usually concentrated into one nocturnal period. But the majority of the planet’s non-human mammals are polyphasic sleepers: they snooze often throughout their day.
Take many of the animals in one of Earth Touch’s favourite filming locations, the Okavango: midday slumbers are essential here to conserve energy during the day’s hottest period. Baboons (the poster children for nap benefits, seen here happily dozing) forage for a few hours in the morning and then take time out when the heat intensifies. (Napping is the norm for many non-mammals, too. Our personal micro-napping hero is the Swainson’s thrush, a migratory bird that takes hundreds of daytime naps by closing its eyes – or just one! – for only a few seconds.)
Stacks of sleep studies have shown that a carefully timed siesta can ease stress and improve your mood, memory, alertness and even your health. Sounds like the perfect solution to the midweek funk...
So go on. Catch some Zs. We won’t tell the boss.