My mother was a professional napper. Peggy would retreat to her bedroom, take a 20-minute snooze, then reappear in heels and lipstick ready to discuss politics, books, shopping.
When I try to nap, I either fall into a deep sleep, arising with puffy eyes, a lovely wrinkle in my cheek from face scrunching, and a fuzzy brain. Or I simply stare at the ceiling while my inner critic takes great pleasure in replaying life’s regrettable moments.
Post nap, I am beyond the intervention of heels and lipstick. I am done for the day.
We know that research has shown the benefits to taking a snooze. The National Sleep Foundation tells us that we are actually sleep deprived. And though a nap can’t make up for a poor night’s sleep, the NSF says napping can “improve performance, mood, and alertness.” Did you know that Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy were nappers?
Napping does NOT connote laziness. Author Brendan Brown says that taking daily naps will NOT turn us into George Castansas from Seinfeld! “The humble nap,” he says, “will help you get more stuff done later that day, and make you feel a whole lot better in the process.”
So how do we non-nappers get started? Is there an art to napping? Is it a skill we can learn and practice?
Brown provides 7 steps to achieve the Perfect Nap.
First, we must decide on the duration. This visual from his blog site can be our guide. Notice that there are unique benefits to each nap duration.
He suggests that the ideal time frame for napping is between 1pm and 3pm. A nap at that time will not disturb our nighttime sleep and can help revitalize us for the rest of the day. (Companies such as Zappos, Google, and the Huffington Post are snooze savvy and have created rooms for power napping.)
We should also set an alarm and make our surroundings free from distractions.
Then how about this fascinating tip….. to avoid post nap fogginess, Brown suggests we drink a cup of coffee before napping. Yes, coffee. The caffeine will kick in 20 to 30 minutes after drinking – the perfect time for waking up.
Check out his site for more suggestions.
So, I hate to admit it, but Peggy was right, yet again. Napping reduces our blood pressure and can ward off heart disease. She lived a vibrant life to the age of 96, napping throughout!
Codie, too, is a proficient napper. And I challenge you to find a happier creature in all the earth!
Today’s Takeaway –
- Napping is good for us! And anyway, George Castansas was a funny guy…
- Peggy reminds us to sleep on our back to avoid face scrunching. That way we won’t need an alarm. Our vigorous snoring will jar us awake.
Enjoy the Ride!
zzzzzzzz Barclay and Joy