The Power of a Nap
Allow me to brag (just once and then I’ll stop). I am good. Really good at taking naps. I began when I was in college. No matter how long my days were, I could easily go about my day-from early morning till late at night-with lots of energy and ease.
Granted I was younger, but I quickly realized that my long days were possible because of one thing. It wasn’t because of the vitamins I took, or how much sleep I got the night before; instead, it was on whether or not I was able to sneak in a quick nap.
I have been taking naps almost everyday. It is part of my daily routine just like brushing my teeth, doing meditation, taking a shower. I truly do not think I could get through my days without them. Without them, I would be cranky, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
Not only does it give me a quick repose to my busy days but it truly is a necessity especially because one of the main symptoms that comes with Rheumatoid Arthritis is fatigue. I sometimes get so tired, I literarily have found myself asleep on my laptop. Having said that, so do I take long naps all day where I get nothing done?
No, of course not. I like naps but I don’t intend to sleep my way through life. Moreover, a nap does not replace eating well and exercising. I do both. I just take naps because I absolutely need to. They are quick (around 15 min), effective, and I can always work them in.
I have incorporate my naps into my life and can take a nap almost everywhere. I told you I was talented. (: I know that not everyone can or want to take naps…but I love them. I have taken naps in buses (I once woke up and I was sleeping on top of some lady’s shoulders...I know I snored because she told me..I hope I didn't drool) and I kid you not..I once fell asleep on a train (the trip from Rome to Florence was always so crowded that I had to stand up) standing up in the aisle. I think people were amazed.
So how does one schedule in a nap? “If there is a will, there is a way.” I know of a gentleman who on his lunch, closes his door, puts on his headphones, and listens to calming music and sleeps for half of his lunch. When I used to work with children diagnosed with autism, and I was going from one child to another, I would go to a quiet park, eat my lunch and then close my eyes for at least 10 minutes.
My dad loves his power naps. He started to power nap during med school when he was up during his residency. He power napped for 15 minutes and till this day, I sometimes catch him on the sofa, fast asleep.
When I do take a nap, I wake up feeling so refreshed and can power my way through the day. Here are some tips I have used that have helped me. If naps have helped you, love for you to leave a comment.
Thanks and happy Napping.
Use an alarm. I know some people who like to use soothing wakeup music. I just use my IPHONE and have a soft bell that wakes me up.
I do not take naps longer than 15 minutes unless I’m particularly exhausted. Over 15 min and I feel out of sorts when I wake up and “off” the rest of the day.
If you are at home, and you have a bed or sofa, try to make the environment if possible as “nap friendly.” Close the shades, have the room temperature comfortable.
I make sure the place where I take a nap is inviting and clutter free. It is always clean without papers, clothes or stacks of clutter.
I have a special blanket (Yes, like Linus). It is super soft. While it keeps me warm, it is not heavy. I do not like heavy blankets that feel rough. I took a pic here. (fake fur of course)
After I get up from my nap, I make sure I drink some type of liquid like water or tea to ease me into reality. Give yourself a few minutes to get up, stretch and then get on with the day.