Sure, it’s an odd subject to get so excited about, but hey, that’s just how I roll. Recently, a dear friend let me know that she was feeling embarrassed about sleeping so much, since the message from her family was that napping was a sure sign of laziness. I’d never heard that before, since I grew up in a house where a power nap was the necessary transition between my mother’s hectic and demanding day as a nurse and the evening’s home activities.
I felt so sorry that she’d been missing out on what I consider one of life’s necessities (and pleasures). It’s as much a part of daily living as eating or breathing to me. If needed, I can nap on the hard floor of an empty office, a car seat pushed back, or a random couch in a lounge. I don’t recommend any of these places, but in a pinch, they do the trick.
This prompted me to start looking around for some research on the benefits of napping. Who knew it would be so ubiquitous? There’s even an entire book about it by Sara Mednick, a professor from the University of California, called Take a Nap! Change Your Life. I love the title. She gets just as excited about it as I do!
It seems that napping has a host of benefits, including improved memory and creativity. A recent study’s findings showed that a nap can dramatically boost and restore brain power. That doesn’t surprise me. I feel like a new person after a little 20 minute cat nap. After too long, however, I find I wake up rather out-of-sorts. The concise, well-presented information here may explain some of this, since after 45 minutes of sleep, you move into a different state of slow-wave sleep.
If you’re already a napper, then I’m just preachin’ to the converted. You already know the awesome refreshed feeling that results. If you aren’t, give it a try and notice if you feel any different after a week of short afternoon naps. You may be surprised at how much more energy you’ll experience as a result!