My time to be refreshed and energized for the rest of the day
Every day around 1:15 pm, I can feel that quiet wave start to hit me. Nap time. The wave of tiredness and quiet. As soon as I can escape to my room, I do. It’s all ready for me; the soft bed, black-out curtains are closed, my pillow (in all it’s perfection). I quickly turn my phone onto Do Not Disturb mode and slip into peaceful slumber.
It really isn’t a popular thing. No one brags that they slept 12 hours in one night, I really only hear how much people do not sleep.
Usually, it’s just small children and older people who get to sleep extra.
Why is that? Something isn’t right or fair!
I say it’s time for a change. Instead of getting to stay up later, the older one grows, I say the older you get, the more you get to sleep.
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.
- 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.
- Habitual napping — Please note: this one is my favorite! This nap is planned. For 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.
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 when my babies were born, I realized that I felt so much more rejuvenated for the rest of the day. My method of survival turned into a habit that became a way of life for me.
A simple search from the MD…WebMD that is, showed me that there are unexpected benefits from naps
- It’s safer than coffee, energy drinks, and food
- Helps you to fight against fatigue
- Increased health.
- Increased alertness.
How long should people nap? After some 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 a jump-start and 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 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 was helpful for creative people and solving complex problems from a new perspective. An uptick in emotional balance is also found here 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 naps are 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 and happy kids. I have discovered 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.
“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.