I’ve never been a napper or a person who can sleep anywhere else but in my bed. On the other hand, The Mr. falls asleep if he sits still for five minutes. It is a gift. I am so envious. It would really come in handy on red eye flights when I am the sole sleepless one who has to watch “Never Say Never” on the jetblue flight. Once in NY, The Mr. and I were on our way home after a very long and tiring day of work. We had about 20 minutes left on the subway and he leaned over and said, “I just don’t understand how people sleep on these things.” Literally 4 minutes later I looked over and his head was bobbing as he SLEPT and the subway was jerking side to side. Sigh…completely jealous.
Years later, when I became a sleep deprived new mom I could fall asleep a bit easier, but when I tried to lay down it would always backfire. Either the baby would wake up right as I drifted off, or the phone rang, or the doorbell rang, or someone was jackhammering our building, or there were sirens, etc. etc. Tortured sleep. Even if by some miracle it was nice and quiet, I would always wake up extremely groggy and cranky, feeling much worse when I layed down. It put me in the worst mood ever, and I hated the way it made me act, so I boycotted naps…
Until recently when I discovered the amazing benefits of the power nap. I am a huge believer, and have been trying to perfect the power nap. Turns out there are massive health benefits, and I’ve noticed a difference. Check out these 2 articles, and you might have to jump on the siesta train.
(The Wild One and me napping circa 2009)
+ Napping improves memory function.
+ The ideal nap is around 20 minutes long, before your body gets into the stage 2 of sleeping, whereupon if you are awakened, you’ll be more groggy than before (AHA! My problem solved!).
+ The best time to nap is right in the middle of the day.
+ Do it anywhere: in your car, on the train, at your desk.
+ “Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison are known to be avid nappers.’You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no halfway measures,’ Churchill says. ‘Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do.’”
+ A funny idea – As explained in ”The Practical Napper,“ one method to make your nap more efficient is to hold a handful of silverware while napping. After about 70 minutes, when you transition into REM sleep, you’ll lose muscle control, drop the silverware noisily onto the floor, and awake with extra vigor and an improved mood.
+ Some companies (Google, NY Times, Huffington Post) offer a space for employees to nap!
+ Napping can lower Blood Pressure
+ Our bodies are physically wired to nap.
So everyone, next time you feel that 2:00 drag, don’t grab a 5-hour energy drink or a cup of coffee. Take a quick power nap! You’ll feel so much better, and you won’t have put a bunch of chemicals in your body. Napping = Nature’s energy drink. Let’s all take a nice Sunday Siesta. Who’s in?