A Publication of WTVP

Power to the Nap

Power naps have the potential to reduce stress, improve cognitive functioning and refuel slow afternoons. But when is the best time to get in a nap, and how long should the nap last before it hinders productivity?

Sleep researcher Dr. Sara Mednick developed a moveable nap wheel that charts the ideal intersection between REM and slow-wave, or deep sleep, based on the time you wake up in the morning. In her example, if you set the wheel to a 7am wake-up start, your ideal nap would take place at 2pm, where REM and slow-wave sleep are in a perfectly balanced state for the “ultimate nap.” Naps taken before this intersection will have more REM, and those after, more slow-wave sleep. Check out the wheel at

As for the length of the perfect nap, aim for 20 to 30 minutes, though some studies suggest there are more benefits to an hour-long nap that allows for a complete sleep cycle. But the hardest part of any nap is falling asleep, so allow extra time to drift off when setting your alarm.


Choosing a Thank-You Gift

Sure, weekday dinner parties and overnight weekends with friends are all fun and games, but at the end of a visit, what’s the best way to say thanks? Small gifts that offer simple delights, says The Wall Street Journal, which offers the following suggestions to thank your host or hostess for their generosity.


Car Talk

Talking cars may someday be commonplace, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The U.S. Department of Transportation and University of Michigan are hoping their year-long, $25 million study will provide data that shows wireless devices that allow cars to “talk” to each other will dramatically decrease the number of vehicle crashes. The devices, currently being tested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will send signals between cars that would alert drivers of potential dangers, such as stopped traffic and speeding motorists. If the technology proves successful, LaHood says it could be mandated for all new cars and eventually prevent or reduce the severity of 80 percent of non-alcohol/drug related collisions. iBi