Every day around 1:15 pm, I can feel that quiet wave start to hit me. A heaviness that overtakes me slowly. The wave of tiredness and quiet. As soon as I can escape to my room, I do. My bed – it’s soft, comfortable, and all mine. The black-out curtains are closed, and my pillow is fluffed. My phone gets turned into Do Not Disturb mode and I slip into peaceful slumber.
A land of dreams and relaxation. Healing and comfort. Peace and stillness.
This is the time of napping.
It really isn’t a popular thing. Not many people loudly proclaim that they slept 12 hours in one night, one only hears how much people do not sleep.
Usually, it’s just small children and older people who get to sleep extra.
Insomnia, too much caffeine, stress, extra work, late bedtimes, procrastination, Netflix binges, and the list goes on and on and on.
It’s Time for a Positive Change for Nap Time
Instead of getting to stay up later, the older one grows, the more you get to sleep more hours if you want to do it!
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are 3 types of naps
- Planned napping — This nap is great when you have to work a late shift or go a party that will end several hours later than you’re used to being up. So you take a scheduled nap to prepare yourself to be awake at a time that you normally would not.
- Emergency napping — A quick refresh is found in the emergency nap. This would occur if you’re driving a long distance and you pull into a rest stop for a few hours and sleep so you can continue driving. Or, this is helpful after a huge Thanksgiving Dinner before your favorite team hits the football field. Of course, please choose emergency napping carefully. Be IN the rest stop before naptime, and (of course) wake-up BEFORE kickoff.
- Habitual napping — Please note: this one is my favorite! This nap is planned and very much a habit in my life. For other people, such as babies and toddlers, this occurs soon after a meal and is scheduled around events. Late morning or mid-afternoon are the popular times. At my house, it’s 1:30 pm or after lunch, whichever comes first. On crazy/hectic/kids are driving me insane days, it is appropriate to serve lunch at 11 am, and take the nap earlier in the day.
The Sacred Hour is what I like to call the habitual nap at the Galyen residence. I got in the habit of napping in college when the stress of nursing school was overwhelming me…and then after my babies were born, I realized that I felt so much more rejuvenated and alive for the rest of the day. My method of survival turned into a daily habit that became a way of life for me.
An easy search by the MD …WebMD, that is, shows that there are unexpected perks from naps
- It’s safer than coffee, energy drinks, and food – calorie free
- Helps you to fight against fatigue and exhaustion
- Increases your health.
- Increases your mental alertness.
How long should people nap? After some focused research, the consensus is overwhelming leaning towards shorter naps, but there are also benefits for longer naps.
- 10–20 minutes. The most popular of nap time-lengths. This was found most effective for busy people who have very strenuous mental jobs (such as students, doctors, and lawyers). This amount of rest is similar to jump-starting a battery or a quick reset for the brain and the body.
- 30–60 minutes. For people who have more intense decisions to make or need to remember detailed informatics & instructions, the 30–60 minute nap was found to be the best amount of time for these skills to rejuvenate.
- 60–90 minutes. Bring on the dreams!!! It was interesting to find that this category had some REM (rapid-eye-movement). Achieving this level of sleep is helpful for creative people to solve complex problems from a new perspective. An increase in emotional balance is also found here (note: this is GREAT for stressed-out people) with such a complete rest.
- 6 Minute Nap. If you have almost no time at all, 6 minutes of rest is a super fast way to get some extra winks. About the time of a typical restroom break for most people!
Whether you are of the 6-minute, 20, or 90-minute category, the important thing to remember is that naptime is important. The health benefits of a clearer mind, refreshed spirit, emotional control, and rejuvenation of body are a definite plus.
For me? A good nap is my secret to a happy marriage, happy life, and happy kids. I know that when I’m tired, I’m not fun to be around. The fuse to my temper gets shorter and shorter. I get more demanding instead of being patient. While I may not take a nap every day, it sure is a wonderful way to escape the realities of life for just a little bit…even if it is only 6 minutes. It helps to strengthen your purpose in life like Emi shared when she wrote THIS!
So how about you? Are you a napper or a no-sleeper? How many hours of sleep do you try to get in during day & night? Share below what tips work for you to get the extra rest that we all need.
“Napping.” National Sleep Foundation, sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping.
Soong, Jennifer. “The Secret (and Surprising) Power of Naps.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/balance/features/the-secret-and-surprising-power-of-naps#1.