• The Latest in Nap Research

    I’m well-known in a tiny (now broader) circle as a good napper. As few as five minutes of shut-eye and I’m refreshed and recharged. When the need arises I can nap briefly just about anywhere. I’ve napped at rock concerts and on all manner of surfaces and in contorted positions. But I’ve wondered, does nap location/position matter? A new paper in Biological Psychology, summarized at BPS Research Digest, suggests it does.

    Even naps as short as ten minutes have been shown to provide psychological benefits in terms of reduced fatigue and improved concentration (pdf). But would-be nappers face some strategic decisions, most obviously – does it matter whether I nap in my chair or ought I try to find somewhere to lie down? And then … if remaining seated, is it okay to lean forwards and rest my head on a desk?

    When it comes to napping while leaning back in a chair or car seat, past research has shown that the further you can lean back, the better, at least in terms of subjective fatigue and reaction times. Now Dayong Zhao and colleagues have addressed the leaning forward issue, comparing lying-down napping and leaning-forward napping, and they’ve found that the former is the most effective, but that the leaning-forward variety still has clear benefits compared with no nap at all.

    Nowadays most of my napping–which isn’t much–occurs on my train ride home from work. The most important consideration for me is neck alignment. Leaning my head back may find a stable surface for it, but it can irritate my neck. Best results seem to occur with folded arms and head slightly slumped forward. But the new research suggests I’m giving something up with a forward-tilt.

    One thing to note is the studies referenced are all very small. Why can’t researchers get more people to participate in napping studies?

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    • Naps are good!

      OT, but I said I would get back to you and maybe this is the best way. We had a lawyer/M.P.H. from the Premier group talk with us about she thought the ACA would affect our hospital. I got pulled away for an emergency heart, but best friend took notes for what I missed.

      She thought the bill was very ambiguous and we should be prepared for almost anything, but the following are definite.

      1) We will see cuts in Medicare reimbursements, probably in the 5% range. Some of this is the 2% expected from loss of teaching fees. The rest from readmission penalties and such.

      2) Medicaid numbers will jump more than expected. Medicaid pays poorly. We will take a hit as some of these people currently have private insurance.

      3) The number of people in the exchange will be larger than expected. Their research shows that a lot of people do not sign up their kids for SCHIP because they are concerned it will be “clinic” level care. That stigma will not exist for exchange based care.

      4) Bundled payments will begin as soon as 2013 (I was not there to ask for clarification on this part).

      5) There is concern that Medicare provisions may allow for bids between competing hospitals, including the boutiques owned by surgeons. The boutiques do not take sick patients and have lower overhead since they do not have specialists to care for complications. They just ship them to a larger hospital.

      Bottom line. 10-15% of hospitals really will fold.

      Steve