Getting more sleep is high on the Wish List, if not the To-Do list, of most dissertation writers.
And so it is with me.
I always mean to go to bed earlier than I do, and I have all sorts of reasons for what keeps me up, some good, others not so much.
As I argued in “Sleep on It,” a tired brain doesn’t give you your best ideas, so why not go to bed and let your brain expand, develop, play with what you have given it? Your writing process needs that down time so that your brain can add its unique perspective to what you’ve just written.
I may watch BBC World News at midnight, and I may make some notes to think about in the morning, but I don’t trust my critical thinking and judgment after a certain hour.
To supplement my nightly sleep I would love to take a short nap at 4 pm, but the late afternoon time isn’t my own.
However, maybe I should take back that time.
The National Sleep Foundation advocates a 20- minute nap in the mid-morning or mid- afternoon to sharpen focus and productivity. And it’s important to limit the nap to 20 to 30 minutes.
And if you need additional reasons to nap, a mid-day nap also helps your metabolism (did I hear “slim”?).
If you receive the wonderful and free daily INSIDE HIGHER ED and/or TOMORROW’S PROFESSOR newsletter, you saw “Turn Your Zzz’s Into A’s.”
In that article, Allie Grasgreen writes about The University of California at Davis’s systematic endeavor to encourage students to nap. The school sells packets with earplugs and an eye mask and offers a “nap map” for good places to nap.
I swear by my five- minute nap, which I can take just about anywhere (except when I’m driving or talking on the phone, of course), but a 20-minute nap does sound appealing, don’t you think?
Could you fit in a short mid-afternoon nap to improve your focus and productivity? There are all sorts of barriers we could bring up, but really, how hard would it be? And what’s 20 minutes versus improved focus and productivity. Aren’t they priceless?
My best to you,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com