Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch. That’s not entirely an easy thing to do on my uncomfortable Ikea couches, but with my legs stretched out across the corner of the coffee table and a cushion propped behind my head I can just about float away like a twirl of cigarette smoke and disappear to napland.

I’m not big into napping; I’m a snooze button man myself. In the morning when my alarm tells me it’s time to get up I give it a wallop with an outstretched flailing arm and return to my dreamtime. I like morning dreams the best, you can wake up hit snooze and if you’re quick enough you can get right back to the dream. For example, yesterday I stirred to hit snooze then got right back to deciding if £1m cash-back at the supermarket automated checkout would take to long to collect or not.

As it happens, it turns out that my sleep pattern isn’t all that good for me. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe we would all be better off if we took a twenty minute power-nap in the afternoon. Apparently doing this would enhance our alertness and concentration, elevate our mood and sharpen our motor skills! Drink a cup of tea or coffee before you take that nap and you’ll wake feeling extra alert too because the caffeine will be kicking in just as you emerge from your micro-slumber.

In a recent study of 23,000 men a women by Harvard University and the University of Athens Medical School researchers found the participants who took regular naps of 30 minutes or longer at least three times a week had a 37% less risk of dying from heart disease. Those who took shorter or less regular naps, maybe once or twice a week, lowered their risk of heart disease by 12%.

So, maybe I’m reading this wrong, but does that mean that instead of hitting the gym four times a week and working up a sweat pointlessly rowing or running to nowhere on a machine, I could be just as healthy if I took a nap and perhaps dreamed of the gym?

Maybe I’ll try a semi-scientific study and take afternoon naps instead of those morning snoozes. Though wait a second, has anyone studied the effects of a combination of long morning snooze sessions and afternoon naps? I think I might just have to try that, in the name of science of course. It’s a tough challenge I know, but I’d like to think that I might just be a good candidate for this most selfless of tasks.

Boston Globe’s guide to better napping
Nap time
Napping benefits