Protect your wallet -- by taking a nap
Exhausted people aren't frugal people. Here's why a little extra sleep can pay off.
Feeling a little groggy today? Join the club. Daylight saving time kicks a bunch of us right in the head every year. That's why National Napping Day was invented in 1999 by Dr. William Anthony, then a professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
The Monday after the time switch was an obvious choice because "Americans are more 'nap-ready' than usual after losing an hour of sleep," according to BU archives.
To celebrate, I took a nap on Sunday. It lasted maybe half an hour and it worked just as well as the ones that kept me going while I obtained a university degree in my late 40s.
The long bus commute, classes, homework, studying, and my MSN Money job plus an apartment house managing gig left me perpetually exhausted. Whenever possible I'd factor in a 20- to 40-minute nap. These short snoozes kept me going long enough to graduate. They kept me frugal, too.
What's the connection?
Exhausted people are less likely to:
Cook. Takeout costs a lot. The alternative -- eating mostly out of cans or boxes -- is not a balanced diet, which can lead to health issues that also cost money.
Stay on top of chores. Hiring part-time help can dent your budget, but living in clutter or with things that need repair isn't ideal either.
Exercise. Sedentary habits lead to health issues, too.
Socialize. Too beat to hang out? Not good for your head or your body, since isolated people fall into some unhealthy habits. Put another way: Your best friends should not be your couch, the remote and a bag of chips.
Be fun to socialize with. It's hard to be a good friend, partner or parent when you're weary. Maybe you're just too tired to enjoy what other people suggest (a bike ride, a board game, a bedtime story) or maybe you're downright grouchy. Either way, you're no fun.
Grabbing 40 winks
Get over the idea that pushing through fatigue is what winners do. Sure, some people seem to thrive on just a few hours of sleep in every 24. They're the exception. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
On days when you haven't had enough sleep, a brief siesta can save you. If it makes you feel any better, known nappers include Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Your mileage may vary, though. Most of my college-era naps took place between 5 and 7 p.m. Of course, I rarely went to bed before 1 a.m., so I still had plenty of time for my body to get tired once more.
"But I work," you might be wailing. A few possible tactics:
- Is there a break room/employee lounge? Go there at lunchtime. Curl up in a chair (or on the sofa, if you're lucky enough to have one) and set your cell phone alarm for 20 to 30 minutes. That still gives you a few minutes to eat your brown-bag lunch and get back to work.
- Or maybe your work area clears out from noon to 1 p.m. -- if so, put your head down on your desk and pretend you're in kindergarten once more.
- Got an office all your own? Lock the door, forward your phone and zone out.
- Live near the workplace and got an hour for lunch? Run home for a 20-minute nap.
- Get creative: A former co-worker was known to go out for a brief nap in his car.
More on MSN Money:
How about a George Costanza and just build a hide-a-way under my desk.....great idea.
When are we all going to stop this nonsense and demand the time change stop!?!?!?
We are not a country of Victory Gardeners anymore.
Contact your Senators and Representatives!!
As an American I can attest that George Bush was napping on the job and even when he he appeared to be awake. I love the George Costanza reference--good old Seinfeld.
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Donna Freedman's Frugal Nation blog is for readers who want to live cheaply -- whether due to necessity or a lifestyle choice. It explores living sustainably and making life more meaningful at the same time.
ABOUT DONNA FREEDMAN
Donna Freedman, a writer based in Anchorage, Alaska, writes the Frugal Nation blog for MSN Money. She won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. Donna also writes about the frugal life for her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
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