I didn’t really need another reason to love naps, but here’s one anyway. Not only can a brief afternoon nap increase memory, if you dream while you nap you can increase your ability to process and store information tenfold! This comes in a long line of studies that point to rest, and naps, as critical in processing and retrieving information, performance in sports, learning new skills and problem solving. This little article reminded me that I could use a siesta space in my office, and that being rested is an integral part of being productive and creative. This is not well-tolerated in our society. Most of us do not get enough rest, and wind up tense, tired and unable to do more than survive through the day. If we could find ways to support more restful moments in our lives we would be better able to meet the regular demands placed on us.
Of course, in terms of our faith, the idea that rest is important is not news. The Sabbath is supposed to connect our creativity and rest with the creativity and rest of God. Even that can be a stretch for us, though, as Sundays have become more and more encroached upon by trying to catch up with everything that slipped through the cracks during the week. If I can’t get a nap room set up at my office, at least I can try to keep the Sabbath as a time of peace and quiet. Realistically I know that it probably won’t be for the whole day, but perhaps I can extend some quiet time after Mass — maybe and hour or two — when I can unplug everything and listen to just to God. Maybe I’ll even take a nap.