Lyndon Baines Johnson Was Down With Nappin’

Many of those who worked for Lyndon Blaine Johnson found him to be downright odd. Maybe they thought his actions were a bit irresponsible.

LBJ, the 36th president of the United States, believed in afternoon naps. Routinely, he would close his door to his office, slip into his pajamas and take a 30-minute nap in order to refresh and remain productive for the rest of the afternoon.

My daughter hates naps. Since birth I don’t know of but a handful of times she has taken a nap and she is near 15!

We tend to think midday naps are set aside for the elderly and babies. As teens and young adults, we often merit the lack of napping as a milestone.

Have you ever noticed after eating lunch how unfocused and lethargic you feel? You then tell yourself, “Man I shouldn’t have ate so much.” I thought the only answer to tiredness after lunch was eating too much.

But as I read the book Brain Rules by John Medina I discovered that there might be a connection, a different answer. Now this may be for me personally as usually after I eat lunch, I face a lull. I always blamed the food as that what’s everyone around me would call it but what I read in this book actually made more sense.

Sleep researcher, Dement, stated that Lyndon Johnson was actually being normal, and the rest of us who look down on napping, are the abnormal ones. (Page 45 of Brain Rules)

Some call the thing we oftentimes call a ‘low’ or ‘digesting,’ midday-yawns, post-lunch dip, and the afternoon sleepies as well. Sleep specialists call it the nap zone. It is a period of time in the afternoon where we feel sleepy. Our attention spans are shot and it seems impossible to accomplish much. If you do like most, you push through and hope it will pass. It’s a true fight as the brain really wants a nap and it does not care what it’s human is doing.

At first, according to the book Brain Rules, scientist didn’t even believe the nap zone existed except as evidence of sleep deprivation. That has changed. Some are more sensitive to the middays yawns than others. Public speakers are very aware of this and do their best to do early morning or later in the afternoons. And statistics show more traffic accidents happen during midday (1-3pm) than at other times.

I think we need to bring naps back in the working world. Allow at least 45 minutes and let our workers nap.

Let’s bring back Siestas!

‘Siestas’ are common in Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Spain itself. Siestas are also common in Italy, Greece, the Philippines and Nigeria. They occur in hot climates for the most part. A siesta is a short afternoon nap that originated in Spain.