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Take a Nap! Change Your Life.: The Scientific Plan to Make You Smarter, Healthier, More Productive Paperback – Dec 30 2006
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A wake-up call! Dr. Sara Mednicks groundbreaking research provides compelling evidence that a midday snooze provides incredible physiological, psychological and cognitive benefits, and is the basis for her easy-to-follow program. If you want to be fully alert, energetic and in a good mood all day long, youll need to Take a Nap.Dr. James B. Maas, Cornell University; author, New York Times bestseller Power Sleep --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book has made a big impact on how I view my study time. Medical school is difficult and exhausting. If I attend all my lectures, eat three meals day, maintain good hygiene, commute to/from the university and get 7 hours of sleep, I only have 3 hours on the weekdays to study. I used to hardly be able to keep my eyes open during that study time and I couldn't remember anything I studied.
After reading Take a Nap! Change your life, I have the skills to use napping as part of my study routine. I used to feel guilty when I napped because I thought I was wasting valuable study time. I was just too tired to study. Now I plan naps into my study schedule and it is amazing how much better I recall everything. My test scores in Pathology have improved an average of 8 points since I started napping and my scores keep improving despite no other changes to my study routine. If you subtract out my naps, I'm actually studying less but getting better grades! As I prepare for my USMLE Step 1 Board Exam, consolidating memories and enhancing recall is especially important. I now consider napping a study skill and regular naps are part of my board prep study schedule. Naps have truly changed my life.
HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU:
I recommend this book to all students, but especially medical students. A career in medicine means long hours and years of sleep deprivation. This book will help you understand why naps are essential for peak performance on tests and review highlights of sleep research. You will learn what stages of sleep are most important for recalling massive amounts of detail and how to maximize those stages of sleep in your naps. You will learn the essential skills of napping for maximum memory and how to create a personalized nap for your individual needs.
Most importantly, the knowledge you gain from this book will also improve your ability to provide quality patient care. The vignettes emphasize how naps can improve all aspects of life. I can already see how naps would be a beneficial part of a therapeutic plan for patients with anxiety, obesity, depression, sexual dysfunction, headaches, sleeping disorders, diabetes, substance dependence, or heart disease.
A WELL ORGANIZED, EASY, QUICK READ WHEN TIME IS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY:
I know that it is hard to find time for recreational reading in medical school. Fortunately, your time investment will be well rewarded by way naps will change your life. The book is written in succinct short chapters so you don't even have to use a bookmark. You'll be amazed how easy this book is to read. It is especially refreshing after studying dense med school textbooks such as Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Seventh Edition.
Take a Nap! Change your life has very reader friendly lay-out. It is printed in good sized font with attention to white space. Figures are clear and simple to understand. Important concepts are bolded. It is easy to navigate for specific information as well.
I highly recommend this book. I hope that you will start napping and benefit from this book as much as I have.
I think that if I follow the steps outlined, I will continue to get better at napping and will make this a regular part of my day. The sleeping at work issue has not come up, and since it is part of my lunch break, I don't think I am going to run into problems. I think there is a net benefit as I am not dragging for an hour when I take a nap. I'm keeping the book at work just in case anyone asks. Dr. Mednick can defend me.
Overall I found this book very helpful as a guide to changing my attitude about napping. I now think of naps the same way I think about trying to eat right and work out. And I look forward to reducing my coffee intake--at least a little. This book explains that there is no sense in trying to power through your tiredness. Only by getting some sleep can you really restore yourself. I have studied some endocrine problems and the lack of sleep contributing to increases in stress hormones is something I had not thought about. I know that eating right and working out have helped my stress level, and the naps seem to be helping, too. I'll have to keep it up.
Plus the book has some fun facts and very accessible science. Maybe napping will join healthy snacks, daycare, and gyms at the workplace.
I have never been a napper, so I was a bit skeptical at first. I usually woke from naps feeling worse than when I sat down for them. Dr. Mednick explains this phenomenon and shows you exactly how to avoid it. I not sure I would have believed that it was possible to tailor a nap to avoid this grogginess, but a while back I took part in a napping study that proved it to me. In the experiment, I napped with electrodes on my head so that my brain waves could be observed while I slept. I was woken up about an hour later, during REM sleep. Unlike my previous experiences with naps, I woke feeling refreshed and alert. Dr. Mednick's book shows you how to optimize your naps to do exactly that (without the electrodes)...and make you a more rested, productive and healthy person.
Some other topics I found interesting:
- How the naps of "night-people" and "morning-people" differ.
- The stages of sleep--their properties and purposes.
- Myth of the "food-coma".
I highly recommend this book to anyone--nappers and non-nappers alike. The only fault I found was that the book was not nearly as sleep-inducing as a book on napping should be. :)
I listened to Dement's book "The Promise of Sleep" a few years back on tape, but never thought about how little attention there is to daytime napping (as opposed to nighttime sleep and sleep problems). If you're sluggish and crave pick-me-ups (chocolate, caffeine, etc.) in the afternoon, this book may be the "ah ha" moment like it was for me. How come we exercise, take supplements, practice "sleep hygiene", try not to eat carb-laden lunches, and more, but we never think about taking naps? Why not give in, rather than fighting the urge?
I've been trying afternoon naps for about 3 weeks now, and for me, it's been like hitting the "reset" button on the day and getting a fresh start. It really seems like the missing piece; it's weird that it's so simple (and yet so culturally forbidden). I can't wait to tell my doctor what a difference such a simple solution has made.
The only trick is figuring out how not to wake up groggy, which the book doesn't cover in great depth. I'm looking forward to checking out the author's postings, and also reading "Power Sleep" by Maas (which gets pretty good reviews), to see if they add details to this book's impassioned plea and conscise intro.
The writing style is really lively, and typos are blessedly absent. It's a refreshing change from the self-published books these days in which the author thought he or she could save money by skipping an editor, since he or she can write "real great," thank you very much!
Finally, for what it's worth: The author comes across as someone who would be inspiring to be around; one of those people who has fallen in love with science and with using it to make the world a better place. Aside from the personal impact the book can have, it's just encouraging to know that there are people like that out there.
The writing was a bit of a bother sometimes. Lots of campy comments and superlatives that were easy to skip thru but definitely not necessary. I think the book could have been shorter and more impactful without the case studies, the section on extreme sleeping (pretty irresponsible to even discuss this fringe stuff), and cheerleading sections about how to talk your boss into allowing naps. "Workers of the world, nap!"
Memorable points - that timing and duration of your nap affects what type of sleep waves you experience, and hence what kind of benefits you obtain from the nap. Some naps emphasize REM sleep and enhance creativity, while others enhance slow wave deep sleep, clearing the mind and promoting full restoration.
Like other books written by medical or health professionals or researchers, getting the message of their life's work across in a simple, inspiring, and practical manner could have been better. I'd pin most of this on the co-writer rather than the doctor really. Being that there are not many books on napping out there to compare to, it still might be worth reading to gather the occasional interesting insight and simply to get motivated.
The high point was the promo message on amazon.com, which was incredibly well written: "Imagine a product that increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory. Now imagine that this product is nontoxic, has no dangerous side effects, and, best of all, is absolutely free..."