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The Nap

I recently read a guest blog about the nap and it got me thinking…You know, the nap is quite underrated.  It’s one of those things that I rarely take advantage of, yet, when I do I feel so great.  Rejuvenated.  Excited.  Energized.  So I wonder…why don’t I take more naps?  The answer to that question is simply: It’s a matter of time and convenience.  I don’t afford myself the opportunity for this luxury.  (Perhaps, however, now that I will be *ahem* not so busy during the day I can take advantage of it.  Time will tell.)
Years ago when I worked at the coffee shop and my shift was the 5:30am start I would occasionally indulge in a little afternoon sleep.  I had to power up for the rest of my day.  I’ve found that the best way to nap is to lay your head at the FOOT of your bed (it’s a Feng Shui thing) and with your bed aimed toward your door (so when you’re napping your head will be in the direction of the door).  It sounds silly but I challenge you to try it.
Find some comfy gear – lounge pants, a sweater, a nice beat up pillow – and climb onto your mid-day throne (no, not that one).  Darken your room by closing your curtains and turn off your tv, radio and computer (and put down any books or magazines that you may want to read) and just relax.  Allow your mind to wander…not too much…to some place quiet and pretty, devoid of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and noise and chaos.  Allow yourself 15 minutes AT LEAST to get to your sleeping sanctuary and the nap will come.  I promise.  The minimum time for a nap should be 20 minutes….but even a 5 or 10 minute snooze can give you that second wind we sometimes so desperately need.
Blair said to me one day "You sure like your sleep, don’t you?"   HELLS YEAH!  I love sleep.  LOVE IT!!  In fact, I didn’t get enough of it last night and I feel like crapola this morning.  Well, actually, we’re into early afternoon now but I still feel crappy.  Sleep is good.  Sleep is HEALTHY.  Imagine how yucky you feel when you don’t get any.  And I think Blair is just jealous that he doesn’t get much of it (I am going to treat him to a nap sometime soon).  BTW the best way to get awesome, uninterrupted sleep is to turn off anything that jumbles your mind (said TV, computer, radio, etc.) an hour before hitting the sack and relax.  I like to read before bed – although sometimes a good book is worse than watching tv (hello Twilight series) because your mind will race and you get very thoughtful – and usually after 30-60 minutes I am ready to turn out the lights and start snoozing and drooling (isn’t that the best when you wake up and the side of your face and your pillow are soaked b/c you’ve drooled all over the place – THAT is a sign of a good sleep!!) and a lot of the time I don’t wake until the alarm goes off….unless of course there’s a 25 lb white beast on me thinking it’s playtime and working his way to scratching my eyes out – damn you, Winston. Red heart  Other than those few occasions I always wake feeling refreshed.
I hope you all get some lovely sleep…and this weekend (or whenever) indulge your life with a nap.  (Cat, I hope you are able to take advantage of Terry being home.)

13 responses

  1. Cat

    And then again:http://mindbodyfitness.suite101.com/article.cfm/is_napping_good_or_badNapping – Good for You or Bad for You?A New National PastimeOct 12, 2009 C. Marie BurkeHuman beings may not be designed to nap. It is evident, however, that the nap is back, whether it be the catnap, the power nap, the siesta, or now – the "treat" nap.It is not known whether napping is natural in human beings or not. The National Sleep Foundation states that humans are among only 15% of mammals that are monophasic sleepers, who split the day into two parts: one for sleeping and one for being awake. Most mammals are polyphasic, sleeping on and off for short periods of time. However, the Foundation notes that napping is prevalent in humans of all ages and in numerous cultures.Americans Like to NapBased on a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center (Taylor, 2009), over a third of Americans take naps. Age made no difference. All adults, whether still teenagers, young adults, middle aged or elderly, showed the same incidence of napping. Only the extremely elderly showed a higher percentage of napping than other populations.Emergence of the Power NapAmericans have a work ethic that differs from many cultures who celebrate a siesta in the midday. “Power napping” may change this attitude. In his 2006 article, “Power Napping,” Joe Kissell credits James Mass, a professor at Cornell University, with the invention of the word "power nap." In his book, Power Sleep (1997), Mass claims that napping during the workday increases attention, memory, emotional well-being and overall function. Above all, Mass gave American workers “permission” to take a nap during the workday.Benefits of NappingNapping has definite benefits. The National Sleep Foundation states that the advantages of napping are much the same as those stated by Mass. These are: increased alertness, better performance and reduced mistakes on the job. The Foundation also asserts that napping has emotional benefits. A nap can be a treat or a reward for a hard day’s work. As the Pew survey reflected, Americans simply like to nap.Negative Effects of NappingUnlike Mass, however, the National Sleep Foundation sees some potential disadvantages in napping. The Foundation warns that not all naps are alike. There is a considerable difference between a catnap and a nap that can last for an entire sleep cycle. When a nap lasts more than approximately 20 minutes, it causes a phenomenon called sleep inertia, which appears to have the opposite effect of the remarkable benefits described by Mass.Read more at Suite101: Napping – Good for You or Bad for You?: A New National Pastime http://mindbodyfitness.suite101.com/article.cfm/is_napping_good_or_bad#ixzz0iYRI5GTY

    March 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  2. Cat

    http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-health-fitness/postawski1.shtmlPower Naps – What Most People Don\’t Know About NapsBy Kacper M. PostawskiOne of the questions I get asked all the time is "Are naps good for you? Or bad?" I\’d like to settle this argument once and for all right here, and reveal to you how you can properly manage your sleep to create an abundance of energy in your life, with LESS sleep.Yes, naps are VERY good for you, but only IF you understand how the sleep system works, and you know how to nap PROPERLY.In my "Powerful Sleep" course I teach people how to properly understand their sleep system, circadian rhythm, light exposure, and how it affects their inner sleep system. Most people don\’t realize that sleep is actually quite a complex and fascinating inner system. When we\’re sleeping, we\’re not just dead zombies off in an unknown universe. Your inner sleep system is a mechanism which follows specific time periods and stages to energize your body.So how do you nap properly? You take what are commonly referred to as "Power Naps," or what I usually refer to as "Stage 2 limited naps." You see, when you sleep you go through what are called "sleep stages" – there are 5 stages in total. The first two stages, Stage 1 and 2 are your "Light Sleep." It\’s during these stages that we sleep "lightly", we are easily wakable, and if we awaken our circadian rhythm isn\’t altered enough to create a disturbance in the sleep system.The energizing effects of Stage 1 and 2 sleeps are very beneficial, just 10 minutes of sleeping in these stages can restore your energy to the point where you feel as if you slept for 8 hours. However, why do most people do more HARM than GOOD to themselves by napping? It\’s simple, they don\’t know about "deep sleep." Deep sleep comprises of all the following sleep stages. It\’s during deep sleep that your body undergoes a MASSIVE physiological change, your body temperature, heart rate and respiration all change. Your blood vessels dilate and all the blood that is usually stored in your main organs during the day is channeled to your muscles to repair them.If you enter deep sleep during the day, your circadian rhythm and your "inner sleep clock" will be altered and out of wack, often resulting in an unbalanced, weak sleep system and lower energy levels all together. For an average person it takes about 45-90 minutes to enter "deep sleep", this is why for an effective nap you MUST keep your nap down to a MAXIMUM of 45 minutes. Even 45 minutes is sometimes too much. The most energizing naps are usually 10 to 20 minutes long.If your naps last too long, you will enter deep sleep. Waking up from a deep sleep phase is more harmful to your sleep system and your energy levels than good! You will often feel lethargic, low on energy, and in that "zombie" state of mind. … plus some more about paying him $$ to learn how to nap. LOL

    March 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

  3. Cat

    Cereal!!!Wow, apparently this topic is really near and dear to my heart!

    March 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

  4. Cat

    And for your entertainment, I will tell a personal anecdote. The day before yesterday, after many days of building up sleep debt, I was SO TIRED that there was no way I was going to stay awake at my desk. So I went into the office girl\’s bathroom, locked myself in a cubicle, leaned on the toilet paper roll and promptly fell asleep. It wasn\’t a long nap, but BOY did I feel refreshed! LOL

    March 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  5. sandy

    I was SO excited to have 5 comments to this already…then I opened it and saw that SOMEONE has too much time on her hands. Perhaps you could be napping right now instead of blogging with me, Missy!! *giggle*

    March 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  6. not

    Your funny Sandy…… I know i use to love naps, yes i use to sleep a lot too. Not now! Thanks to shift work its impossible to EVER catch up on the zzzz\’s. Let\’s see a couple of week\’s ago i stayed up up for 28 hours, lol. I know what your thinking….. crazy! After working all night long, i came home and decorated a cake for someone…… then went out and did some arran\’s ( i think i spell that wrong Sandy, lol) Then came home waited till 6pm for them to pick the cake up. Well, when they did, i thought i can finally lay down…………. nope…………. by that time I was wide AWAKE! Grrrrrrr………. mad me mad i didnt go to bed until 11 that night. Yup 28 hours i stayed awake for! Sad thing is, it\’s not the first time i\’ve done it…….. and i\’m sure it wont be the last either. Unless i can find a normal job that had normal hours……..cuz shift work is NO fun.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  7. sandy

    OMG! Your story is too funny. There is a girl in my office who will go into the bathroom and sit on the floor with her back against the door and sleep. And another girl will just go into one of the conference rooms (the one with no windows) and use her purse as a pillow. I\’m usually told when to wake her ass up.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  8. sandy

    Amy, you poor thing. That sucks. Blair\’s like that too. He doesn\’t even come close to the proper amount of sleep needed (hence his jealousy toward my sleeping habits). Shift work is the worst thing for one\’s body and mind. Once your sleep habits are out of whack everything else starts to follow suit.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm

  9. Tanya

    I LOVE my sleep, and am usually not the nicest person to be around when I don\’t get it. And a jumbled work schedule really doesn\’t help. Work until 1am, home by 1:30, but then I need about an hour or two to settle down. Then around a half hour after lying down to realize that I NEED TO SLEEP. By this time its usually 4am or so. And that\’s if Chris and I don\’t sit down to watch a movie or TV. However, the next day (most of the time), I have to be at work for either noon or 1pm. Which means needing to get up at 10/11. And my body for some reason likes a LOT of sleep. 7 hours never seems like enough. There have been times at work where its slow (like, 11:30 or so) that I\’ve put my feet up, my head back, and closed my eyes. However, sleeping on the job for me – not such a great thing as I\’m a deep sleeper, and the phone ringing wont usually wake me.

    March 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  10. Cat

    She sits on the *floor* in the bathroom? Ewwwww. 😛

    March 19, 2010 at 8:24 am

  11. sandy

    Not that it makes it any better but it\’s not a "public" bathroom.

    March 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

  12. Tanya

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/03/12/f-sleep-genes.html"And many recommend skipping naps to prevent interference with the body\’s circadian rhythm."

    March 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm

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