Benefits of Napping.

Is he really writing about how amazing naps are?  I thought that was a given.  Well of course everybody really loves a good nap, but some of us forget that we “have time.”  Maybe we have too much to do and no time to do it.  Maybe our job prevents us from accomplishing this.  I agree that our society isn’t exactly set up for nap-time…yet.  I keep reading more studies about big corporations having paid nap time during work.  They are realizing that the productivity of their employees actually goes up when  they take time off for naps.  Almost as if it gives them a second wind.  So ask take a few z’s at break time.

So let’s define a “nap.”  To me a nap is a rest period during the day.  This could be a “cat-nap” of 10 minutes to a full-scale 2 hour zonked out sleep-time.  There is something about daytime sleep that feels so regenerative.  Is there a proper way to nap?  I think any way is great, but there are a few tips of maximizing your energetic gains from a nap.

1. Nap outside if possible.  If the weather is nice, if the sun is out, if it’s not cold and wet, then try napping outside.  If there is sun, get it on your skin.  Breathe fresh-air.  Ground your feet.  You now have no less than 3 energetic inputs pumping into you while you are asleep.

2. Let yourself mentally let-go for the duration of your nap.  Part of the benefits here mean taking a break, or RELAXING.  So don’t be thinking about what you have to do after you wake up or what is going on in your relationship.  Just drop it all.  If it helps the fears, tell yourself you can pick back up all of your worries and problems after nap-time. =)

3. Use naps as a gauge for how tired you really are.  If you are scared to fall asleep because you know you will be out for hours that may be telling you something.  If you have great energy and feel powered through the day and just want a 10 minute siesta then that is great too.  Listen to your body.  It will let you know.

4. Don’t be afraid of the “non-nap.”  This is literally a 5-10 minute rest period.  Instructions:  Let go of all worries and stress, lay down for 5-10 minutes.  Take a few deep breaths.  It is amazing how much this little period will rejuvenate you.

5. If late napping is interfering with your sleep, then do it earlier.  Perfect napping times will differ for people but usually anywhere between 11 am and 4 pm are good times.

So in all, naps are great.  They are a very useful healing tool.  Use them to rest, repair, relax, and gauge how you are feeling.  I don’t think there are any downsides to napping (unless done really late in the day).  So kick off your shoes, lay out in the sun, on the couch, in your bed, and take a nap.

-Joe

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