Take a Nap! Change your life.

The pioneering resource championing the cause of taking short snoozes

One of Charles R. Poliquin’s favorite topics was the importance of getting the optimal amount of quality sleep to improve health and athletic performance. One tool that can help you sleep well is napping, and one of the best books on that subject is Dr. Sara C. Mednick’s Take a Nap! Change your life.

Mednick has the credentials to be considered one of the foremost authorities on sleep, particularly napping. Her doctoral thesis at Harvard examined the mental and physical benefits of napping, and her name has appeared in over 75 scientific papers, including the Journal of Sleep Research, The Journal of Neuroscience, and Behavioral Brain Research. Mednick currently is a Professor at the UC Irvine Department of Cognitive Sciences.

Take a Nap! Change your life. was published in 2006 and is backed by extensive research published in scientific journals. Mednick gets our attention by offering the following benefits of napping:

  • Decreased stress
  • Elevated mood
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased growth hormone production
  • Improved sex drive and sexual function
  • Improved skin and tissue regeneration
  • Improved memory
  • Reduced cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of fatigue-related accidents
  • Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke

Consider too that there is considerable research on the benefits of extended sleep, which can be achieved with napping. One research study involving 23,500 subjects found that those who napped at least three times a week reduced their risk of coronary mortality by 37 percent!

For athletes, consider that Stanford University has conducted considerable research on the effects of extended sleep on swimmers and basketball players. Among other observations, the researchers saw the swimmers improve their starts, turns, kicking speed, and 15-meter sprint times. The basketball players made significant improvements in the free throws (from 7.9 to 8.8 out of 10 attempts) and three-point goal percentages (from 10.2 to 11.6 out of 15 attempts). Fun Fact: Lebron James claims he sleeps 12 hours a day!

The subhead for this book is “The Scientific Plan to Make You Smarter, Healthier, More Productive,” and it delivers with practical advice you can immediately put into practice.

One of the key points of Take a Nap! Change your life. is that the best naps last about 20 minutes or between 60-90 minutes. She does not recommend naps of 30-60 minutes, as it creates “sleep inertia,” a condition that may put you in a groggy state for up to an hour.

Learn the science of sleeping well in this pioneering book by sleep expert Dr. Sara C. Mednick.

As with Strength Sensei CP who says to sleep in a “Batcave,” Mednick recommends paying special attention to your sleep environment. She also promotes the use of sleep masks and earplugs, and that keeping your smartphone on while you nap is a dumb idea.

Mednick also introduces the concept of a “Nap Wheel,” that helps you determine the best times to sleep. For example, if you rise at 7 am, the best time for your power nap would be about 2 pm. By the way, the worst times to nap are less than three hours before bedtime.

If you don’t have time to read Take a Nap! Change your life. right now, you can listen to Mednick narrate the material in an audiobook and you can watch the half dozen of her presentations and interviews at this link:

Co-authored with freelance writer Mark Ehrman, Take a Nap! Change your life. breaks down the science of sleep for a general audience. Dr. Sara C. Mednick claims their book can change your life, and for many of us, it will hold true to that promise! (TSS)

[Take a Nap! Change your life. by Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D. with Mark Ehrman is available in paperback, Kindle, and as an audiobook through]

Scroll to Top

Join The All-New Dojo

All new programs for women’s training, combat sports, and performance.