Oh….how I love my afternoon nap. As a person with Multiple Sclerosis it is highly recommended that I try and get a little rest each afternoon to help keep my energy up for the whole day. There are days when I don’t feel I need one and then there are days when I can’t wait to get home to spend an hour or two on my couch in “snooze” mode.
BUT this post is about napping for all of you…not just for me.
Napping can improve your health. There is not doubt about that.
I think the biggest hurdle to get over when wanting to have a nap is the guilt associated with it. We think we should be doing something productive like housework, preparing the evening meal etc. BUT I’m telling you that napping is good for your physical and mental health. Even just a quick “power nap” of 15 minutes can recharge your mind and body and give you a few more hours of good energy to finish out your day.
We all get mid-afternoon slumps and what most of us will do instead of catching a quick nap is reach for the sugary snack and another cup of coffee. That is only going to be a short term fix. You will get a quick rush of energy and then be dropped even further into your slump. And the sugar and caffeine are not the best choice for your overall health.
For those of you who are night hawks and stay up way too late then definitely a nap is something you should schedule into your day. Maybe at the tail end of your lunch break if you work outside the home. If you are a homemaker then you can catch a nap as needed.
If, like most people, you don’t get the recommended 8 hours of solid sleep each night you are at risk of being sleepy while driving your car, and your performance at whatever you do will be mediocre. A nap will definitely boost your awareness.
Meditation is a great pre-empt to a nap. Cozy into your favorite quiet spot and meditate yourself into a nap. It works. I’ve tried it. That busy mind of yours will quiet down and allow you to doze off even in the middle of the afternoon.
Napping will definitely boost your alertness…even just a 20 minute power-nap. Of course longer naps will take you into the deep REM sleep and you will reap even more benefits. Napping has been shown to increase one’s creativity. If, before you nap you have a problem that you just can’t seem to resolve…after a nap you will likely be able to deal with the problem better. Napping improves creativity. I’ve seen news stories that the big companies such as Google, Facebook etc. have rooms for their staff to go to for afternoon naps as it really does make the employees more creative.
Napping definitely lifts my mood too. If you are sleepy you tend to be irritable. After a little rest you are recharged and in a better state of mind. Napping also relieves stress and in this crazy world who isn’t stressed…even just a little bit. A nap will definitely lower your risk of cardiovascular disease as it has a wonderfully positive effect on your stress levels.
There are more and more studies leaning towards the fact that we are a sleep deprived society. When sleep deprived we risk accidents whether driving our car, working on heavy machinery at work, or forgetfulness may be an issue. Napping recharges our alertness, job performance and definitely reduces the risk of accidents.
Think of your nap like a “mini-vacation”. A chance to relax and rejuvenate.
Naps are the most powerful tools for increasing our health and well-being, intelligence and productivity.
Did you know that many of the most powerful thinkers and leaders were nappers such as Edison, JFK, Churchill, George W. Bush and Napoleon.
Don’t feel guilty. You are doing yourself and others a big service. Take a nap.