Winter solstice is just eleven days away. For us Alaskans, that’s a big deal, because it means that we’ll turn the corner and start gaining daylight. Right now, we’re down to about five hours of daylight in Anchorage. Make that close to three in Fairbanks. And the folks up in Barrow – well, let’s just say they might as well walk around with their eyes closed.

Which is how a lot of us spend our time in the winter. Lest we feel slovenly about the temptation to sleep, it’s good for us writers to review studies on alpha brain waves. In particular, researchers say we’re likely to wake from power naps bathed in alpha waves, which inspire concentration and enable access to our elusive subconscious.

Not that this is an excuse for writers to sleep the day away. In fact, if you nap too long, you’re more likely to to delta waves that make you feel groggy and even more sleepy. And you can bring alpha waves to the fore with other activities, such as yoga and meditation. Even closing your eyes and rolling them upward activates a burst of alpha wave energy.

Still, I’ll take an excuse for a power nap on just about any day in December.

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