Written by New Generation Ski Instructor Courses
Becoming a ski instructor is a bit of a roller coaster, you will have days you never forget, days you would rather forget, nights to remember and nights you can’t remember.
Spending a season in a ski resort is an incredible experience but skiing all day and having a social life is tiring work, don’t worry though as it turns out you may be able to do both.
All it takes is an afternoon nap.
A British experiment in 2008 by James Horne et al. compared a nap, a cup of coffee and extended night-time sleep to see what would happen to people’s afternoon energy levels and concentration.
The nap – Yes, the nap! – won.
2Naps have been consistently shown to outperform high doses of caffeine in cognitive tasks and even motor performance. Improvements were found in logical reasoning, reaction time and immune function. Who among us would turn down those performance improvements half way through a BASI exam?
3Napping has also been shown to help reduce frustration and impulsiveness so even if things aren’t quite going to plan you will be far better placed to deal with it.
Why do you think google have nap pods? They know letting their employees catch a few extra minutes will help them make more money.
Still not convinced? Well Thomas Edison, Churchill, John F Kennedy, Napoleon and Albert Einstein were all regular nappers. They all achieved quite a lot. 4NASA even recommends fighter pilots take naps.
So what is the perfect length of nap? A full sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, but you will probably struggle to fit that in between training sessions or on your lunch break during an exam.
Sleep expert Nick Littlehayes recommends 30 minutes. Something that is definitely achievable in the exam lunch break or between training sessions. You won’t enter a deep sleep during this time but it will leave you feeling mentally refreshed.
So go find a cool, quiet place during your lunch break, set an alarm for 30 minutes, close your eyes and switch off. Science says you will wake up with better reaction times and improved logical reasoning both of which are seriously useful in any exam or training session.
James Horner et al – “Sleep extension versus nap or coffee, within the context of sleep debt. “Journal of sleep research, Decemeber 2008
2Sara C. Mednick et al – “Comparing the benefits of Caffeine, Naps and Placebo on Verbal, Motor and Perceptual Memory” Behavioural Brain Research 193 Nov 2008
3Jenifer R. Goldschmeid et al – “Napping to modulate frustration and impulsivity: A Pilot Study” Personality and individual differences 2015
4Mark Rosekind et al – “Crew Factors in Flight operations, effects of planned cockpit rest on crew performance and alertness in Long Haul operations” NASA Technical Memorandum 1994