I've just opened my eyes - but they were only closed for around 10-15 minutes. (Hard to judge when you're asleep.) And as a result of my brief excursion into the land of nod, I feel rejuvenated refreshed, wide awake and smiley.
I get up pretty early, to get the often unpleasant but eminently necessary business of exercising out of the way for the day.. By 7.30 I am showered, dressed and lipsticked and ready for the delighful job of serving up delicious breakfasts to charming guests. But the downside of starting one's day at an hour that, for a lot of people (my 21 year old son included) the thought of which is enough to provoke mild nausea, is post lunch slump (PLS). By which I mean that around 2pm, both body and mind begin to behave as if it were close to shutting down time. 'That's a wrap,' you can feel them saying. 'No more cooking, talking, thinking, concentrating or moving around of any kind.' In short, as if it were time for bed. This is a less than ideal situation for most people, and if you have copy to file and guests to look after, it's clearly the exact opposite of what's needed.
The choices faced by someone suffering from PLS are a) to snort copious amounts of cocaine (expensive and bad for the health) b) swallow quantities of black coffee (liable to make you jittery and irritable and necessitate going to the loo every 20 minutes) or c) power nap.
Take it from me, the only sensible option for a PLS sufferer is c. I know, I do it regularly and it works. BUT, it must be done right. Do not, repeat not, don pyjamas, grab cuddly teddy and/or hot water bottle and snuggle under your duvet. When you emerge, bleary eyed and groggy, two hours later, your day and those in it, will have gone to hell. Instead, put your head down on your arms - on your desk, at the kitchen table, wherever. Or, as I do, curl yourself up in a big chair (my huge black swivel chair in my study is perfect for this), turn it away from the window so passers by can't see you snoozing and spread the word that you're only pretending to work (a damaging rumour for a freelance working from home) relax and close your eyes. As you give in to PLS, you will drift happily away, and when you wake, as you will only a few minutes later, you will feel rejuvenated, clear headed, sparkly eyes and ready for the rest of the day.
Lets hear it for the power nap.