Dr Norman Swan is host of the Health Report, ABC Radio National, and of Tonic on ABC News24.
Norman has been Australian Radio Producer of the Year, received a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes, has won three Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism, including the prestigious Gold, and Australia’s top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daly Award, twice. He also consults for the World Health Organisation in Geneva.
I can’t remember when I started napping but I have always tended to burn the candle at both ends and don’t get enough sleep at night. So I nap in order to survive. I have trained myself to nap in crowded situations – the noisier the better. Rather than try to abolish sound, I focus hard on the noises around me, and meditate on them. When I’m on a plane, I nap at take off by focussing on the safety announcement. Usually though, I nap in my office, early afternoon, sitting in the chair with my feet on the ground and hands on my thighs. All I need is 10 minutes. That gives me a quick refresh then I am right.
It’s not all good news though. There is a stigma about it and you can look a bit demented taking a nano-nap, so watch what it looks like. Be discrete about it if you are in an environment where it’s not normal to nap. I am notorious for my napping in the office. My colleagues view it with amusement, “there he goes again.” But it’s never been a problem .