The Art of Nap
I look forward to my Sunday afternoon nap. I wait for the sun to peep in the window just so and then shut the door, snuggle under my down comforter, read through a couple of chapters of my latest book, and drowsily drift into the sweet dreams of a lazy afternoon slumber. It’s even better in summer when my afternoon nap is accomplished in my favorite backyard hammock.
As beneficial as naps are, naps in the States seem to suffer from bad PR, as if taking a nap is synonymous with sloth and non-productivity. However, in other parts of the world it’s recognized that the afternoon is a time of siesta and rest in order to finish the day with zest and zip.
Whether taken in the afternoon or whenever the need arose , some of history’s main line notables have appreciated the nap:
- Margaret Thatcher
- Thomas Edison
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Ronald Reagan
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Salvador Dali
- John D. Rockefeller
- Hmm–anyone else notice it’s mostly men who are on the list?
There is something to this nap stuff–seriously! I did some research and pulled up some heavy-duty information. The major source of information came from the Sleep Foundation, but there is a huge warning about all their information being copyrighted so I suggest you click here to find out for yourself how important napping is for your health.
The benefits of napping being commiserate to creativity are proven with the likes of Edison, Einstein, and Salvador Dali. I have learned to keep my Post-it pad next to me when napping because afterwards, or even during, while my body is resting, my brain is buzzing away with ideas. I have a whole pad of dream-induced ideas that will keep me well-supplied for writing material for years (and years).
You would think there would be more books about naps. This picture book was part of our reading repertoire. I can relate to the snoring granny these days.
If you are wondering how long you should nap to recharge your batteries, here is a helpful guide from the Natural Sleep Store:
The Values of a Your Nap
10-20 seconds: Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.
2-5 minutes: These have proven to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.
5-20 minutes: These mini-naps increase alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.
20 minutes: The original “Power Nap” is 20 minutes and includes the benefits of shorter naps but also additionally improve muscle memory and clear the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory.
50-90 minutes: Now we’re talking! Naps of this length includes slow-wave plus REM sleep and are good for improving perceptual processing and repairing bones and muscles when the system is flooded with human growth hormone.
- Nap Time (szmusil.wordpress.com)
- The Cottage Lifestyle: Winter Napping (heartseasecottage.typepad.com)
- Sleep on it: Why regular rest makes for a more productive lifestyle (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
“The Napping House” is a cute book 🙂
It is! I’m surprised there aren’t more napping books out there. Maybe I should get busy and getting writing. 🙂
I love a good nap! Unfortunately the optimal napping time for me (about 3-4) is usually when I’m still at work and by the time i get home if I have a nap its in danger of stretching past dinner time and into actual sleep territory O.o On the upside I sometimes have a little nod off while watching the late afternoon news – just like my grandfather!
Naps are the bomb. I love a long winter’s nap and a lazy summer nap. 🙂
We fight naps when children and long for them as adults. When watching the grandkiddo I make naps part of the fun factor. Pre-schoolers suck the energy right out of a grown up!
I can get behind any idea that encourages naps, I have to have a least one tomorrow now, just to prove your theory of course…
I believe the world would become a better place if everyone would nap. Just look at the change in attitude after a cranky two year old undergoes after taking one. Frowns turn upside down after taking a nap.
i love naps. my dad could regenerate after a ten minute nap. i always thought that was crazy. me, i need at least 30 minutes – please make it an hour! so, maybe i am actually lying down reading most of the time, just give me a little quiet already! seriously, though, i do fall asleep reading almost every time during mommy’s “nap” time.
My mom could and still does benefit from a 10 minute power nap. I need at least 20 minutes, and adore those drowsy hour long summer siestas in the shade on a hot day.
I LOVE this post. I know few people here (in the US) that take naps. I always loved naps and everyone told me if I sleep more than 4 hours a day I’m wasting my day. What a load of crap that is!
Thank you for this one! Your comment about cuddling under your comforter, reading a few chapters, and taking a nap sounds absolutely amazing.
Yes, we are a nap-deprived nation. Napping, I think, would solve a lot of problems, but I’m not sure if it’s going to balance the budget.
True story. Either way, great post!
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