Naps-not just for trainees

March 7th, 2012

During my internal medicine residency, I was one of the “subjects” in my then-attending Vinny Aurora’s (@futuredocs) experiments of residents and sleep.  I wore a little black watch looking thingy for about a month that tracked when (or not) I was sleeping.

I don’t sleep much.  Life is too full for sleep!  I get about 4.5-6 hours during the week.  I make up for it on the weekend; I like to get 8-10 then.

I am chronically sleep deprived.  I know it.  I feel it.  I fade most afternoons.  I usually don’t indulge in the p.m. coffee run, but most days it would be nice (like right now).

One thing I have found, though, is that a quick nap during my mid-week research day is OH, SO, NICE …..

On Wednesdays we have a 7 a.m. conference.  I get up at 5:20 to make it on time.  I usually go to bed between 11 and 12:30 the night before.  I barely stay awake for it, but waiting for me after that hour of knowledge building is a cozy, warm, quiet office.  Very Very Nice.  Very Very sleep inducing.

I know I shouldn’t sleep “on the job”, but isn’t that what some recent studies of work hours are suggesting?  I find my 20-40 minute naps (don’t ask me exactly where/how I take said nap) are excellent revivers.  I feel so much better afterwards, and I truly think it improves my focus and concentration.  It doesn’t impact how long I work, since “work” takes me well past 6 p.m. most nights.

I’m all for naps.  When I had to take them, I didn’t appreciate it.  Now, though, there are days in clinic when I long for a quick trip to my warm, quiet office . . .

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    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters