Dr Neil Flanagan, Author and health ageing educator, NSW

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Napper Profile |

“I’ve always been hooked on productivity, and searching for things that will really make a difference.  There’s a lot of ‘kids stuff’ out there like time management, but napping really works. I first saw the effects in my father, a produce merchant, whose job involved hard physical labour.  He would lie on the floor after lunch, and arise energised, even though he would never go into a deep sleep. I started napping in my students days when trying to find ways to be more productive. Then I used powernaps to help me transition from work to study.  For example in one job, I was learning Indonesian, and once a week I would have a 2-hour ‘immersion’ lesson.   I would have a nap at work first (I just closed the office door, and did it) and it worked a treat. Otherwise it felt impossible to go from normal work, then all of sudden speaking only Indonesian. When competing in professional athletics I would also take a nap before an event. Early afternoon is now my favourite time to nap – it’s a useful energiser, after my 5 am rise.  I sit down in a comfortable chair, nap for ten to 15 minutes, then wake naturally.   It’s such a handy tool to be able to switch off at will. It’s something so few people can do.”...

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Karina Hall, Fishery Scientist, NSW

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Napper Profile |

  I have long been a massive fan of a quick after-lunch power nap at work when my eyes are struggling to stay open, much to the amusement of colleagues and office mates. I usually use my dive wetsuit as a pillow (very comfy) and crawl under my desk (quieter, darker) for about 20 minutes. I don’t need to set an alarm, my body just seems to know when to wake up and then I can power on through a more productive afternoon. However, I must warn of a potential pitfall of this delicious habit, because it is quite surprising how many people come to your desk when you are apparently absent, even to the extent of stopping and using the telephone. This has led to the occasional embarrassing moment, but by far the worst occurred when I was completing a study abroad period at Woods Hole in America. I was under my desk having a quick power nap, when I was woken by voices. It seems my supervisor had brought a job candidate into my office to introduce us. Finding me absent, they proceeded to continue their interview with me now fully conscious under the desk trying not to listen in and wondering if it was better or worse to interrupt what was turning into quite a personal discussion. It was when they started to discuss potential salaries that I could no longer in good conscience stay hidden, so with a casual “Hellooooo” I crawled out from under my desk. To my Supervisor’s credit he barely batted an eyelid and just said, “Ah here she is” as if I had just walked in the door. After a quick introduction I left very red faced to allow them to conclude their interview. I think they just dismissed my behavior as the strange antics of a crazy Aussie. I remain a committed napper, and while my colleagues give me flack for it, it’s me that has a smile on my face at the end of the day.  ...

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Dean Johnston, firefighter, Melbourne

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Napper Profile |

Fitness.  Food.  Sleep.   These are the basic needs that come to the forefront of Dean Johnston’s mind whenever he’s called out to fight fires.   “You have to change the whole way you treat your body and yourself if want to be able to perform the job properly and safely,” says Johnston a volunteer fire-fighter who first joined the CFA in Victoria as a junior at the age of 14. When it comes to sleep, Johnston will use the powernap when necessary, and when possible, to keep himself ‘fit for work’.  “When you can, you sleep,” says Johnston, “you have to.  If you are tired or fatigued, you could have an accident or put the rest of the crew at risk. ” Heat stress, long shifts, sleep deprivation, hard work or the boredom of sitting around waiting for instructions, are some of the factors Johnston lists as contributing to fatigue. When fire-fighting you can’t get too precious about where you nap.  Johnston has napped on meeting room floors with a blanket thrown over him, or on the back of fire trucks.  He recalls the sight of his mate’s face imprinted with the grid of the steel checker plate on the back of the fire truck after emerging from a much needed kip. It’s not always easy to nap on the job, even when it seems critical. On Black Saturday Johnston worked 36 hours straight.  “I had family and friends at risk, so I just kept going. I was too wired to sleep,” says Johnston. Johnston’s day job is a fire technician for a small business in Melbourne.  It takes him an hour and half to drive to work, and the same driving home.  “I get up at 5 am so can feel drowsy on the long drive home.  When I can I’ll pull over for a powernap to get me home safely.” “Sometimes you’ve been working all day, then the pager goes off at 5 pm, so you get on a truck to fight a fire. That ends up being a really long day, especially after an early start.” “The need for adequate sleep before starting a job is not taken seriously enough,” says Johnston.  “Sometimes we do get pushed too far.  I am now much more aware of asking myself if I am safe to work before jumping on a fire truck,” says Johnston. Keen to support research into fire-fighter fatigue, Johnston recently participated in Grace Vincent’s  ‘Ash Project’ – which simulated fire-fighting conditions for volunteers, while measuring mental and physical performance as well as a whole range of physiological measures.  The results of this study are currently being...

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Anna-Louise Bouvier, the feel good physio

Posted by on Jun 28, 2013 in Napper Profile |

“I come from a long line of nappers, having grown up in an Italian family. My Nonni (grandmother and grandfather) would have lunch and then nap in comfortable lounge chairs. Personally I like a bed. If I could I would nap every day from about 30 minutes around 2pm. I find it refreshes and recharges me. I also find that if I am working on something creative, my best ideas are post nap. Sometimes I fall asleep, but more often I just doze and relax. I love...

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Napper Profile – Nick Wallberg

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Napper Profile |

  Nick Wallberg, was first introduced to napping last year, through NapNow’s  workplace nap challenge  at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in Melbourne.  Nick set himself the goal of taking a nap once or twice a week.  Despite it being the busiest period of the year Nick  overcame the all too powerful, ‘too busy’ thinking and napped at least once a week. He used the low-tech method of lying down on his office floor and covering his eyes with a scarf for about 15 minutes.  “It was such a saviour, especially when I had after hours meetings,” says Nick. “I’ve continued to use ‘napping’ as a tool at work as it keeps me on top of things. I’ve also started to use it outside work as I  have a few projects on the side,” says Nick.  Nick has just returned to his home country of Sweden. And what did his boss think?   “Leading a high profile organisation with small core team of high achiever means that we constantly strive to improve the quality of our offer to the market,” says Celia Hodson, CEO of SSE.  “Working in an agile way and using napping to maintain energy is key to our success. Growing an internal culture that is aware of the value of a short nap has helped us to maintain our creative edge and remain focused on quality operations and growth,” says...

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