I have always been a fan of napping. Until recently I had a nap at least two or three times a week (too busy these days plus I’ve been taking a Vitamin B complex and I am sure that has boosted my energy). When I was at school I would curl up on the floor in the living room and sleep while the rest of the family watched neighbours. In more recent years I would sleep for about an hour at times that were appropriate, often between noon and 1pm or later in the evening. Obviously that would mean my sleep pattern was a bit squiffy, but as a natural night owl I’ve just accepted it as the way I was made. My daughter seems to have caught the same bug as me too – perhaps it is in our genes.
Yesterday I had a day off. I am sticking to my commitment of taking weekends off and I feel so much better for it. I made a cushion cover for my daughter and began looking up some simple sewing patterns for a laundry bag when I realised I felt a bit tired. I decided to treat myself to a nap. While the time I have off is precious I don’t see sleeping as a waste, it’s one of my favourite things to do so why should I push on and wait until bedtime? My daughter is with her dad today, my other half was cooking dinner for me later in the afternoon (is it a blue moon?) and I had no commitments. I stripped off, climbed into bed and fell asleep watching The Wonder Years. Bliss!
Napping is Like Hitting the Reset Button
Not everyone loves to nap, my boyfriend hates it, but there are several well-known figures that would have understood my lazy habit: Albert Einstein, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill to name a few. Hey, I’m in great company! So what can us humans get out of the naughty little daytime sleep exactly?
- Naps restore your energy, increasing the way you perform once you wake up and start moving again.
- There are psychological benefits; this is something I really do notice. I see it as resetting the system to its natural levels. When I have experienced times of anxiety or a panic attack I would always sleep after to put myself back on an even keel.
- Sensory perceptions are increased – perfect for us creative types.
- It’s a great way to combat stress. When we nap a growth hormone is released and this hormone is the antidote to the stress hormone, cortisol.
- Napping helps us to enjoy the benefits of serotonin, the happy hormone that is usually eaten away throughout the day. We’re left with a feeling of contentment without having to rely on anything other than our own body.
Napping can cause problems too (disturbed sleep patterns for one) but I have only ever found them to be a positive thing for me.