Updated on 10.24.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Naptime Edition

Trent Hamm

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a half-hour long power nap in the middle of the day. It’s exactly as it sounds: I’m trying to sleep for a very short period during an energy lull in my day.

What I’ve found is that some days it works like a charm and I’m ready to just tackle whatever comes my way. Other days, I simply wake up really groggy and I’m in worse shape than before.

On the whole, it’s a wash right now, but I can see the potential.

How I Make $250,000 a Year Investing This was an entertaining overview article on real estate investing. While it doesn’t really get into specifics, it gives you enough that you could start chasing down specifics if you’re interested. (@ good financial cents)

It’s Okay to Spend Money on Things You Really Want “Freely spend your money on things you receive a lot of value from, but mercilessly slash expenses elsewhere.” The trick, of course, is actually knowing yourself well enough to distinguish between things that provide genuine value and things that are simply shorter-term desires (@ pt money)

Does Buying a House Make You Happy? I think buying a home can make you happy, but as the old song went, a house is not a home. (@ christian pf)

When Is It Okay to Start Worrying? It’s never okay to start worrying, because worrying is never a useful product of your time. (@ seth godin)

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  1. Katie says:

    It’s okay to be human, and worrying is part of that. You don’t have to be an achievement-focused perfection machine.

  2. Baley says:

    I think power naps are supposed to be only 20 minutes long. Maybe that would keep you from feeling groggy.

  3. Andrew says:

    “A House is not a Home” goes back well before the Luther Vandross song– it’s the title of the memoirs of Polly Adler, who was a famous madam in the 1930’s and 40’s.

  4. Luke G. says:

    You are probably groggy because you are waking up during a deeper sleep cycle. Maybe you could try a device such as WakeMate which tries to wake you up when you’re in a better part of your cycle. I use one and love it! (And I was not paid to say that, either!)

  5. lurker carl says:

    Go to bed earlier at night and you won’t need naps during the day. Few employers tolerate sleeping on the job.

  6. valleycat1 says:

    When I find I need a nap, I have to simply sleep until I wake up, or just rest without falling asleep, if I don’t want to be groggy afterwards.

  7. valleycat1 says:

    And, where do you draw the line between ‘playing the what if game’ (yesterday afternoon)and ‘worrying’?

  8. Gretchen says:

    Turn the screens off closer to bedtime ( I belive this was the suggestion of a few weeks ago), sleep better, you won’t need a nap every day.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I’ve experimented with naps and found that they can have a very positive effect. I would suggest maybe trying a 20 minute nap to see if you can get the same benefits without the grogginess. With you personal sleep cycle a 30 minute nap may be right on the edge of entering a deeper sleep in which case you would feel groggy when awoken from a deep sleep.

    @lurker carl (#5) – The fact that few employers tolerate sleeping on the job doesn’t make it a bad idea. If a short nap makes a person more productive for the remainder of the day then I think they should nap. I suspect that employers might seen an increase in productivity if employees were allowed to structure their work day based around what is optimum for them, rather than a more rigid pre-set schedule.

  10. Dean says:

    30 minutes is too long. The days you wake up groggy means that you have crossed over into REM sleep. Keep it to 15-20 minutes. I set a time for 20, it usually takes 5 for me to clear my mind, so I get around 15 minutes of nap time. That works best for me.

  11. Josh says:

    I agree with the others — power naps are supposed to be limited to 20 minutes, any longer than that and you start hitting deeper sleep cycles which is why you feel groggy.

    I would love to take naps but my problem is it takes me forever to fall asleep — it can take me up to an hour to fall asleep sometimes even when tired so I wouldn’t be able to reliably set a timer for 20 minutes because the timer would go off before I would even fall asleep. \

  12. Courtney20 says:

    @ lurker carl – only in the US. Elsewhere in the world, naps are often the norm and actively encouraged.

  13. Spencer says:

    Everyone’s sleep cycle is different. Trent might try setting the alarm for different periods of time to see how long his cycle is. Fancier timers will only start when they sense that you are asleep, and try to wake you up at the right time.

  14. Gus says:

    Try calling it a siesta, instead of this awful name, “power nap”. A nicer name may impact your enjoyment of the activity.

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