The long days of late spring and early summer are finally upon us, and I relish seeing blue skies even as I return home from running errands in the evenings. Aside from the warmer ambient temperatures, I love this time of year most because it is so nap friendly. A quick snooze on the couch after dinner can be enjoyed, and I can still enjoy streaming sunshine as I resume my daily duties.

Now, I know, many would argue that winter — with its short days and unyielding darkness that creeps over the northern states as early as 4 p.m. — is made for napping. After all, it gets dark out very early, and aren’t you supposed to sleep when it is dark out? It is that early-creeping darkness, however, that makes a winter nap a sleep trap. What begins as a 15 minute refresh becomes a two-hour snore-fest that further disrupts the restorative sleep we should be enjoying at night.

I’ll admit, I have been lucky enough to find it easy to fall asleep and awaken all my life. Even still, like anyone, I have experienced temporary, fleeting periods of poor sleep, and on days such as those, a nap is a must-do. I can attest to the negative effects a single poor night's sleep can produce: poor judgement, mood, a reduced ability to learn and retain information, and an increased risk of serious accidents and injury. Now imagine coupling those effects with the inherent hazards associated with thermal processing and many industrial processes.

In April, researchers identified a new reason to get a good night’s sleep: after just one sleep-deprived night, researchers found their test subjects “showed significantly increased levels of peptides linked to Alzheimer's disease in the brain.” According to the New Atlas, the “increases [were] particularly observed in two brain regions commonly implicated in the onset of Alzheimer's disease, the right hippocampus and thalamus.” At the same time, The Alzheimer’s Association notes that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease has increased by 123 percent since 2000.

So, for safe and effect thermal processing — and to allow your brain to go about the work of clearing waste produced by the work you have done today from the brain — be sure to get a good night’s sleep. Make good sleep habits (or the occasional nap) a regular part of your routine and observe how memory and performance improve every day.

Don’t Forget to Join Us for Two Webinars

On June 12, Tom McGowan, president of TMTS Associates Inc., will present “Design, Operation and Troubleshooting Ovens and Furnaces.” This one-hour, no-cost online seminar will cover three primary aspects of ovens and furnaces: design, operation and — when trouble rears its head — troubleshooting.

Tom has 45 years of experience in combustion, ovens and furnaces, air pollution control, solids handling and industrial ventilation. He’ll call on this experience with process heating equipment and applications as he discusses major design elements such as estimating the load, burner choice, oven and furnace safety codes, combustion controls and, where required, air pollution control. With an eye to operation, he will look at issues related to training, written SOPs and local signage. Maintenance topics includes having spares on hand and guidance on periodic inspections. Finally, he will conclude with advice on troubleshooting techniques — as much art as science — to find and fix root causes a mixture of art and science. Register here and join us for the online event. If you cannot join us on June 12, your registration will allow you to watch the event on demand after the live broadcast.

Though the live event will likely have been broadcast when you are reading this, our sister publication, Process Cooling, is hosting a webinar that you may want to watch on demand. “How to Develop a First-Rate Cooling Water Treatment Program,” presented by industrial water treatment expert Paul Puckorius, will explain how to start up an industrial cooling system, whether it is a new system startup or a spring opening after a period of dormancy. During the one-hour webinar, Paul will explain how to monitor for bacterial levels for biological control and Legionella. Learn if you are doing it wrong — and how to do it right. Register here!.