My cats do it, so why can’t I? They sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day—nearly two-thirds of their lives, which is a lot of downtime when you consider they have nine lives. When I’m working away here in my tenth hour, there’s nothing so inspiring as looking around the office to observe three felines doing what they do best: nothing.
So today around4 p.m.I thought, “If it’s good enough for them, well, it’s good enough for me.” So this little boomer trundled off for a little snooze. Ok: It was a catnap, appropriately named. I hit the bed with intention—that I would get up in a half-hour. I know from experience that any longer and I’m in perpetual “la-la land,” awakening with foggy brain and mad at myself for letting that happen.
Wake me when it’s over
Next time you’re so inclined to be inclined, remember why naps are a good idea. Some scientists believe naps compensate for the decline in nighttime sleep quality as we age, and that naps may even aid longevity.
The National Sleep Foundation says naps can improve mood, alertness and performance. But such pleasures come with a price, says the organization: Did you know napping still has stigmas attached?
- Napping indicates laziness, a lack of ambition, and low standards.
- Napping is only for children, the sick and the elderly.
Make naps a snap
You may actually get sleepy in the early afternoon thanks to your circadian rhythms. And the longer you’ve been up—you guessed it—the more likely you are to need sleep. If you’re not focused and alert, your work will suffer, and you may make mistakes—plus you just feel out of sorts. That’s where the nap comes in. There’s a right and wrong way to nap, so let’s do it right, like this:
1) Keep a schedule: Your body likes a routine, so try to nap at the same time each day.
2) Keep it short: Back to that part about not sleeping too long—set the clock for 30 minutes and obey it.
3) Keep it real: Close the blinds or drapes, take off your shoes and heavy clothing, and pull something over your body to stay warm. This is the real deal, real sleep—just less of it.
4) Keep enjoying it: You deserve this. You’re so much better now, refreshed, revived and rejuvenated. So repeat the same thing tomorrow, same time, same station.
It’s important to note that a constant need to nap during the day could signal a host of medical issues, including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and depression. According to the foundation, one study has indicated that napping is associated with increased risk of heart failure in people already at risk. As always, check with your doctor if you have any concerns. Sleep tight and sleep right.
(Hey, this would be a great time to use that enVy pillow, too!)
(Photo courtesy: © Dnf-style | <a href=”http://www.stockfreeimages.com/”>Stock Free Images</a> & <a href=”http://www.dreamstime.com/”>Dreamstime Stock Photos</a>)