Can You Nap Constructively? — 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Imogen. An interesting thing happens often when people take a time out and do the Constructive Res: they realize they were not aware of how tired they actually were. So, just that tuning in and realizing that they are tired and need the rest is a good benefit of this practice. We are a culture of “go-go-go” and it keeps us from tuning in to what we really need a lot of the time.

    • Great point. You are exactly right, Lauren. I think this is very often then case.

      For me, when I was first learning the Technique, I think an additional factor was that I didn’t know how to “relax” without being asleep, so in the beginning it felt impossible not to go to sleep when I was starting to let go of tension.

  2. Thanks Imogen, this is excellent, you are really being creative here.
    My neck and back do suffer sometimes when napping in an armchair so your posture looks perfect.
    I would never have done it at work but nowadays e.g. on holiday I find my mood and thinking improve. I can finish crosswords.
    Enough of the theory lets on with the practical. Nappuccino or Flat out White?

    • It is a shame that most work culture does not allow for naps, lying down, etc. Maybe the data will start to sway more companies – after all they want to get the most out of their employees. I hope you enjoy your nappuccino!

  3. Thank you for connecting all these dots! I have often falling asleep while practicing Constructive Rest. I’ve long considered a 20-minute nap a brain reboot. Those interludes helped me navigate being a single mom with a long commute to an awful job while also forming and leading a Scouting unit and maintaining a home that needed lots of work.
    It’s great to see Daniel Pink’s exploration of data to support the importance of the mid-day nap. If my former bosses had been open to that fact, play might not have burned me out so badly and would have derived even greater benefit from my employment.
    Sadly, I think it will be a long time before American work ethic includes actually not grinding down employees. Change comes slowly even when it’s obviously a benefit for the bottom line.

    • It’s nice to see that data supports what seems instinctively to be true. There are a few companies like Google and HuffPost that have “nap rooms” I’ve heard, but that’s a far cry from the norm in this country for sure. Maybe the tide is gradually starting to turn. I certainly hope so.

  4. Pingback:Am I Dreaming, or is this Constructive Rest? | Body Learning Blog

  5. What a great post, I really like the idea of taking a short nap while resting constructively and letting the knees flop against each other – with the alarm set of course 🙂 You wrote that you don’t drink caffeinated beverages anymore: Have you noticed any benefits? I’ve been thinking about quitting that as well, but I find it hard to resign my espresso in the morning.

    • Hi Sebastian, Thanks for your comment. I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages around 10 years ago to help with migraine prevention. It definitely seemed to helped in that regard. I don’t know if I still need to avoid caffeine for that reason, but as I am used to living with out it, it seems silly to reintroduce. I love my herbal tea!! If you don’t experience any negative effects from the espresso I wouldn’t worry about it. Enjoy!

  6. Hi Imogen, it’s so funny that you posted this, as for the past few weeks I have been listening to your Constructive Rest audio when I go to bed, and have found that it helps me fall asleep faster than I do without it. I thought I was “violating” 🙂 your instructions, as a bed is too soft for proper CR, but now I feel justified! I’ve never been able to do power naps; I can’t seem to fall asleep in the daytime unless I am actually ill. But maybe I could try again…

    • Thanks so much for “confessing!!” The audio is designed to help you release tension, so it makes sense that it would help you get to sleep. If you don’t feel the need for a nap, I wouldn’t worry about it. But do take breaks, and maybe you could try out a nap occasionally!

  7. Great post Imogen. I have always found it easy to nap and can pretty much guarantee waking after 15-20mins although like you I use an alarm if I know I must be awake for a certain time. I put this habit down to working shifts for many years. Although I haven’t worked shifts for years now I still often find a nap useful. Since learning (and now teaching Alexander technique) I, of course, have books under my head and I also support my lower legs on a chair or the settee. In that way, when I fall asleep I know that my body is benefitting from resting without any strain on any part of me.

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