It’s the dullest routine in the world: we get up, go to work, play a bit with our kids or friends, nap in front of the TV, eat some fancy dinner and then go to sleep so we could start again, the next day. This treadmill has become a primary feature of our modern society as more and more people are drawn into it. So what’s wrong with this picture? It depends on whom you ask.
Many people I know would say this is all they ever wanted from life: stability. To them, this term translates into a predictable, daily pattern, which involves having a job that pays for everything else (house, food, kids, vacations, movie nights, fancy dinners, new furniture, SF conventions, theater plays, surfing, collecting stamps, doing charity or whatever). It means having some time to spend with friends or family and the luxury to nap on a soft couch in front of the plasma TV, watching a reality show or reruns of the “Desperate Housewives.”
Some of my friends would laugh at me and say this is the type of life they have always run away from as fast as they could. Their existence is actual proof that you can mock all the rules of society and find your way, without following anybody else’s paradigm. For these people, the work-play-sleep routine seems not only vapid but the worst thing that could happen to them. And, of course, there are the ones in the middle, who embrace this comfortable, unspectacular life for a while and one day allow themselves some craziness like jumping off a cliff in Hawaii or partying for a whole week in Amsterdam.
Regardless of the category you belong to, the truth is that sleep is vital for all of us. It’s been scientifically proven that not getting enough sleep can alter our short-term and long-term memory; it can make us agitated, irascible and cranky; also, it slows down our reactions and weakens our immune system. So whether you’re the guy cheering for napping in front of the TV or the one preparing to put on a jumpsuit and fly over misty mountains, make sure you get plenty of good sleep. Honestly speaking, this is easier to achieve today than it was years ago. Just think about it: there is an entire sleep industry ready to satisfy our needs! Ear plugs, soothing music, massaging armchairs, orthopedic beds, memory foam pillows, high-quality mattresses, fluffy P.Js; there’s nothing you may need for a good night rest that you can’t get. You don’t even have to search too much: everything’s a click away.
Plus there are now a lot of companies which let you sleep at work. It’s been documented that a short 20 minutes nap can, in fact, boost our brain and improve our performances at work. In the ‘90s, NASA declared the crucial role of sleep for its astronauts and did several experiments with short naps during the working days. The results were exceptional, so, today, the “NASA nap” (also known as “the power nap”) has become a standard practice even amongst international flights pilots. But remember: it has to be a short sleeping episode; otherwise your entire body gets messed up. A growing number of employers recognizes the benefits of napping at the office, and many of them even provide sleeping rooms for their employees.
So tell your boss about this and get yourself a nice mattress to keep in your office. I got mine after reading some pertinent reviews on Try Mattress, and I’m delighted with it. It’s time you changed the routine 😉