Sorry, But It’s Nap Time

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.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

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.

Previously published on The Ascent on March 24, 2018

Resources:

“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.

10 thoughts on “Sorry, But It’s Nap Time”

  1. Hi Johanna,

    Scientific reports has also proved that napping help to improve the brain activity and refresh the body. I was aware about napping and it’s benefits but have never thought that there are types of napping.

    Planned, emergency and habitual, wow I am supersized.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh I love a good nap.. they are refreshing and energy boosting .. I sometimes nap in mid-afternoon, right when I get the munchies … lol .. enjoyable post, thanks …

  3. Hi Johanna,
    What a nice little read that was! I use to barely sleep 4 -5 hours a night from early teens until just a few years ago. I simply didn’t need it. That’s changed over the last few years though. These days I don’t stick to a regular sleeping pattern but do sleep much more. I tend to get my main 4 -5 hours still but now I also have an hour or 2 sleep here and there whenever time allows or other influences like stress.

    I have found that napping too much throws my sleeping pattern out as mentioned earlier – when this happens I really struggle to get that routine 4- 5 hours at a proper time of night. Do you have any tips to offer on regulating sleep patterns? I’ve tried many different things from stopping naps, to staying awake right though until the time i’d normally sleep meaning I’ve passed an entire 24 hour period without sleeping – sometimes this is much much longer as I then get a second wind. Another issue I’ve had is turning off to go to sleep – any tips there too please?

    I’ve enjoyed your article and look forward to your next 😉

  4. Thanks for reading Richard; if naps throw your sleeping schedule off, then you might want to skip them entirely. Or, just do the really short ones. Definitely avoiding caffeine and getting extra exercise is helpful to reorient sleep times. Also, turning off all devices 1 hour before bedtime is helpful too as the blue light keeps your mind more active. Hope that helps! Johanna

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