His promotion had to be good news. But running two departments was setting up new stress levels for Nanda. He’d never quite seen why he should work such long hours. The monotony of nine-to-five was one thing. Or the strain of crisis-to-crisis, with evenings and weekends wiped out at no notice, was another. Both together seemed wrong. In his new job, he was seriously burning the candle at three ends, and the stress symptoms were starting to show.
When I suggested a power-nap, he thought I couldn’t be serious. He’d never heard of any local employers allowing such a thing. It just wasn’t a Dubai thing to do.
I pointed out that in other hot countries, a siesta was quite normal. Also some top American corporations had studied the work/rest equation in depth, and concluded that a 20-minute sleep in mid-afternoon can improve the memory, reverse information overload, improve cell-repair and heart function, and boost circulation by raising the feet in line with the heart.
But that 20-minute limit is necessary. Beyond it, you are into deep sleep, from which you will emerge in a groggy state. By coincidence, 20 minutes is also the time it takes for caffeine to stimulate your concentration. So a cup of coffee immediately before nodding-off should cause you to wake up in a perfectly alert condition!
One sleep consultant has also declared that a short afternoon sleep can reduce stress-levels by enabling the mind to reset itself like a computer re-booting. According to him, a five-minute sleep is the equivalent of 20 minutes of night-sleep.
Well, it was a bit different from my usual stress relief tips. But Nanda used an empty office with blacked-out windows, and experimented with power-naps for a fortnight. And he had to agree that his concentration had improved, along with his general disposition. It’s too early to say whether power-naps will become official company policy. But he is certainly recommending the same thing to his colleagues in the wake of his successful experiment.
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