I love a good nap. I mean L O V E them! I try to take a nap almost every day. My 4 year-old son (thankfully) still takes naps so after I set the munchkin down I creep into my room for some shut-eye. My 10 year old is reminded not to open the front door and more importantly to reply to telephone callers that “..my mom is unavailable, may I take a message”. Not “she’s sleeping right now”.
I didn’t fess up to taking naps for a long time, primarily because admitting you catch a siesta during the day sounds very self-indulgent. Very “watching soap opera, eating bon bons”, if you are old enough to remember that analogy.
However, I’ve come to realize that taking naps is not self-indulgent, it’s another way for me to try and stay healthy and take some much-needed time for me. Besides, I’m tired! I wake up early, exercise very early most days and I have a lot of things to get done on a normal day. Unfortunately, I do all of this on average, about 5 hours sleep each night. Sometimes I fall asleep at 10pm and wake around 4am. Sometimes it’s 9pm to 2:30am. Sometimes it’s 9pm to 2:00am and then 3:30am to 4:30am.
I’ve read that 8 hours is the ideal number of hours to sleep each night. It guarantees your body is rested and alert. Sadly, my body clock has not read this study and doesn’t want to play by those rules. Mine only follows 2 rules
1. Get up early, and
2. Be instantly awake the minute I open my eyes and realize I’m not sleeping
The first rule I can handle but I do wish that I was better able to fall back asleep in the middle of the night. I am sure there is some sleep aid I could take but I don’t like the feeling of that drugged, dragging feeling in the morning. Hence my penchant for grabbing 40 winks when I can. It’s like a quick catch-up.
Many “experts” do say that napping is actually good for our bodies. It gives us a chance to re-charge our batteries and provides needed rest and relaxation in a hectic life. I’ve experimented with nap times and have found that 45 minutes is an ideal nap period. 20 minutes is too short and an hour or longer is too much. I’ve easily knocked out for a 2 hour nap more times than I will admit but those naps leave me groggy and drained. I also wake up in a “where am I? what time is it?” stupor.
So if you need a nap in the afternoon, take one. That and a cup of coffee will keep you up until at least 9:15pm!
Now go run!