Dr. Sara C. Mednick

author of Take a Nap!
Change Your Life

Dr. Sara C. Mednick

author of Take a Nap!
Change Your Life

Dr. Sara C. Mednick

author of Take a Nap!
Change Your Life

About Sara Mednick

Dr. Sara C. Mednick is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine and author of the book, Take a Nap! Change your life. (Workman). She is passionate about understanding how the brain works through her research into sleep and cognition. Dr. Mednick’s seven-bedroom sleep lab at UCI works literally around-the-clock to discover methods for boosting cognition through a range of different interventions including napping, brain stimulation with electricity, sound and light, as well as pharmacological interventions. Additionally, her lab is interested in how sleep changes throughout the menstrual cycle and lifespan. Her science has been continuously federally funded (National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense Office of Naval Research, DARPA). Dr. Mednick was awarded the Office Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2015. Her research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets. She received a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in Drama/Dance. After college, her experience working in the psychiatry department at Bellevue Hospital in New York, inspired her to study the brain and how to make humans smarter through better sleep. She received a PhD in Psychology from Harvard University, and then completed a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego. She resides in San Diego, CA.

Research

Do you ever wonder…

How does the brain learn?
Can we get smarter?

Does sleep improve memory?
What’s happening in the brain when we sleep?

Why are naps so powerful?
Does everyone benefit from napping?
Can you train yourself to nap?

Can we engineer sleep to improve our memory?
What interventions can make us smarter (e.g., pharmacology, rehearsal during sleep, electrical stimulation)?

What happens to sleep across the lifespan?
Do men and women sleep differently?
How do changes from infancy to old age or sex affect our sleep and memory?

Take a Nap! Change Your Life

Imagine a product that increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory. Now imagine that this product is nontoxic, has no dangerous side effects, and, best of all, is absolutely free.

This miracle drug is, in fact, nothing more than the “nap”: the right nap at the right time.

Take a Nap! Change Your Life. explains the five stages of the sleep cycle, and the benefits each one provides; how to assess your tiredness and set up a personal sleep profile; and how to neutralize the voice in your head that tells you napping is a sign of laziness.

Using the unique, moveable Nap Wheel on the cover and interior graphs and charts, the book shows us exactly when our optimum napping time is, and exactly how long we should try to sleep. It even shows how it’s possible to design a nap to inspire creativity one day, and the next day design one to help us with our memory.

There are tips on how to create the right nap environment, a 16-step technique for falling asleep, a six-week napping workbook, and more.

Testimonials

Hjalmar Leenders

Blogger
www.hjalmarleenders.com/about/watleesje.htm
Thank you for writing Take a nap, it did change my life. This is the first book about sleep with which you directly can apply your new knowledge and create a better quality life. I am now a promoter of you concept and advise people to read your book.

Hany Farid Ph.D.

David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Associate Chair of Computer Science at Dartmouth College
www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid
“Take a Nap!” is entertaining and well-written, yet informative and based on Dr. Mednick’s scientific research. As an inveterate napper, I recommend “Take a Nap!” to my colleagues and students. Personally, I couldn’t be as productive each day without my afternoon nap.

Richard Miller, PhD

Clinical Psychologist and Educator
www.IntegrativeRestoration.com (www.nondual.com)
President, Center of Timeless Being
Co-president, Institute for Spirituality and Psychology
Co-founder, International Association of Yoga Therapy

“Taking a nap is the best gift we can give ourselves, and the best advice we can offer our friends, clients and students. Sara’s book, Take a Nap, Change Your Life conveys in such simple and easy to understand language the deep impact of health, healing, creativity and energy that such a simple and enjoyable affair as taking a nap brings to our lives. I recommend her book to everyone at every training, class and retreat that I give. I don’t know how I survived for so long without the daily nap that I now love to take, thanks to Sara’s guidance!”.

nap wheel

How to use the Nap Wheel

Whether you want a pure Stage 2 nap to keep alertness high, or massive slow-wave sleep to repair your
body, or extra REM for a boost in creativity or added help with memory consolidation, the Nap Wheel will
let you dial up the nap that’s right for you.
Here’s how it works: The numbers on the outer edge of the wheel represent the 24 hours in the day. The
bright blue circle represents the amount of REM sleep you’re likely to have at each hour of the day. The
yellow circle represents the amount of SWS, which increases the longer you’ve been awake. Stage 2 is
the constant in the equation, whether you’re napping at 2 P.M. or 2 A.M., so always figure that the first 20
minutes are almost exclusively devoted to this stage.
When you start programming your naps, the first thing you’ll do is set the “wake-up time” dial to the hour
you woke up that day, say, 7 A.M. Then you’ll follow the hours clockwise until you reach your desired ratio
of REM to SWS. Notice that naps occurring before 1 P.M. will have more REM (greater proportion of blue),
while those taken after this time will have more SWS (greater proportion of yellow). A 90- minute nap at
1:30 P.M. is what we call the “perfect nap.”
Keep in mind that the wheel does not indicate exactly when you’re entering a particular stage of sleep;
rather, it shows you the proportionate relationship between the stages. Also, these calculations are based
on normal sleep/wake schedules and accurately reflect the concentration of stages only in people who
aren’t excessively sleep-deprived. Once you’re sure that you’re in the healthy sleep zone, you can use
the Nap Wheel to design and refine your nap so that it delivers the benefits most important to you.

Speaking

To inquire about speaking engagements
please send email to:

saramednick@gmail.com

Talks

TEDx

Distinctive Voices

Testimonials

Geeta Chaudhry

Software Engineer at Google
“I am so glad I attended Sara’s talk on napping at Google, Mountain View. She is a fantastic speaker. The talk was engaging, useful, and effective. I have since put napping on my list of rejuvenating activities!”

Sarah Fitzharding PhD

Gallileo Research and Strategy Consulting
www.galileoresearch.com
“Dr. Mednick showed me how I can feel alert and sharp well into the evening but in a controlled and balanced way”

Reid Blank

Former Chief Executive of the Big Sleep Show
ibrinc.org-staff
As one of the great champions on the benefits of napping, Dr. Mednick provides a much needed service to all of us sleep-deprived Americans. As a Scientific Advisory Board member and one of the highest rated guest speakers of The Big Sleep Show, Dr. Mednick is a wonderful advocate for translating the science of sleep into practical strategies and methods that we all can use on a daily basis to feel better, live safely and have an overall healthier quality of life.

To inquire about speaking engagements
please send email to:

saramednick@gmail.com

Interviews and TV

Take My Online Sleep Course

How to Sleep Better

and the Secret Power of Naps

About This Course
In this course from Life Reimagined, sleep expert Sara Mednick, PhD helps you understand how sleep works and, with a specific emphasis on the secret power of napping, she helps you develop practices for getting more and better sleep into your life.

Ted-Ed – The Science of Naps

Your eyes get heavy and gradually close… But wait! It’s only lunch time and you still have so much to do. Would taking a nap help? Or would it derail your day? Well, that depends on a few things— especially what stages of sleep the nap includes. Sara C. Mednick details the cognitive benefits of napping, and explores the optimal length and time of day for a quick snooze.

How to Sleep Better

and the Secret Power of Naps

About This Course
In this course from Life Reimagined, sleep expert Sara Mednick, PhD helps you understand how sleep works and, with a specific emphasis on the secret power of napping, she helps you develop practices for getting more and better sleep into your life.

Ted-Ed – The Science of Naps

Your eyes get heavy and gradually close… But wait! It’s only lunch time and you still have so much to do. Would taking a nap help? Or would it derail your day? Well, that depends on a few things— especially what stages of sleep the nap includes. Sara C. Mednick details the cognitive benefits of napping, and explores the optimal length and time of day for a quick snooze.

Sleep and Cognition Lab

The Mednick Sleep and Cognition (SaC) Lab is interested in understanding who we are as humans by investigating how we form memories, how we sleep, and how the brain works. We utilize electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), pharmacology, brain stimulation, psychophysics, and sleep. Please check out our website and find our recent work on the Publications Tab.

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