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Is your city nap-friendly? It should be

March 6, 2013


There are some pretty good reasons to nap

Let me list some:

  • Better memory
  • Better mood
  • Decreased stress
  • More creativity
  • Increased Alertness
  • Increased muscle repair
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Decreased risk of dying (down 64% in working men)
  • Better performance for astronauts (the NASA study did not cover other professions)

You should sleep on the job.

But you don’t.

Because your city (not to mention your job) isn’t built for napping.  I am a pretty bold napper, yet I have yet to lay down in the middle of a major city and go to sleep.  I would be ‘homeless’, ‘loitering’, or ‘in the way’, not ‘bolstering my short-term memory’ or ‘increasing my alertness’.  There’s not even a napping shop, a place you can pay for to go get some shut-eye, unless you count sex hotels (update:  other countries are awesome).  Sometimes I’ve resorted to sleeping in my car.

The plight of the suburbanite:  tired by 2pm, but their bed is a 20 minute drive away.  Besides the increased danger of driving while tired, a 20-minute power nap would then cost them over an hour of time.  And 20 minutes is never enough when the need for a nap strikes.

I’m done making points, but to drive it home, here’s a list of places I have napped on my college campus (which was less than a third of a mile either way):

  • several dorms
  • benches by the turtle pond
  • couches near the chemistry lab (I was occasionally woken for my 8am class by my professor)
  • the ledge of the fountain
  • couches in the student hall
  • under a table in the library
  • the math lab
  • the meditation labyrinth
  • the tree near the turtle pond (my favorite spot)

Conspicuously absent are all the times I slept during class.

If you felt a twinge of jealousy upon reading that list… congratulations, you agree with me.  I hope one day soon we can all rest in peace.


From → urban planning

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