Why afternoon naps are not a sign of laziness but of health?
If you are a part of any social circle where immense work and extreme pressure are everyday routines, you would know what your love for sleep is viewed as a crime.
Long nightly sleeps aside, midday naps are seen as your most inhuman abominations.
And any explanations you try to provide, any solid, conclusive proofs you produce, they are all taken as nothing but your feeble tries to defend your sinister, but most beloved sleep.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I end up wondering if I am looking at this all wrong. The obvious result of this is usually that I conclude I perhaps am, and nothing can cure that guilt; except perhaps another nap.
However, I am finally equipped with enough facts to make me believe what I am doing is in fact quite healthy and nothing to be guilty about.
As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping.
While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.
Leonardo da Vinci took multiple naps a day and slept less at night.
The French Emperor Napoleon was not shy about taking naps. He indulged daily.
Physicist Albert Einstein napped each day—on top of getting ten hours of sleep each night.
Though Thomas Edison was embarrassed about his napping habit, he also practiced his ritual daily.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used to boost her energy by napping before speaking engagements.
Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy,” routinely took naps in his dressing room between performances.
President John F. Kennedy ate his lunch in bed and then settled in for a nap—every day!
Oil industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller napped every afternoon in his office.
Winston Churchill’s afternoon nap was non-negotiable. He believed it helped him get twice as much done each day.
President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. to break his day up into “two shifts.”
Though criticized for it, President Ronald Reagan famously took naps as well.
Is it possible that these successful leaders knew something which we don’t?
I might end up sounding like I am only justifying sleep for my selfish reasons, but well, is that really so important when you might end up taking guilt-free naps after you are through with me here?
Sleeping is the much needed ‘shut down’ that our body needs to replenish its abilities. It is the time when all the gathered information is sorted into its respective place in either the long term memory or well, the dump-bin.
Just like any machine, it keeps you from lagging in your work, makes you more productive, and consequently, helps you save time! (So, you can sleep more!)
Naps, on the other hand, are like those productive apps you download to boost your gadget quickly without resorting to a ‘restart’.
It is literally the one-click solution to your fatigue; if done right, of course. I am here to run you down through all the types of naps and sleeps that I have resorted to over time – without confusing you with the usual scientific technicality about which chemical is the culprit of what.
For better results, with respect to health, it is more beneficial to have a consistent routine, where you take a specific type of nap regularly at about the same time of the day. Not to say that, if individually taken, these do not work.
Time: 10-15 minutes.
Not many people agree with this one, but that doesn’t mean these don’t work. Best taken by setting an alarm first, these can kill your sleepy-eyes and drowsiness to quite an extent, if you are otherwise well rested.
You may not believe in its power. But have you ever fallen asleep in an extremely boring class and awoken with a start after a few minutes, only to feel extremely fresh? If you haven’t, you should be really proud of not having any boring professors.
Time: 20-30 minutes.
I am not very sure of how popular this one is, but it is very effective. Very. It combines the two most popular lethargy-bursting elements to create something heavenly.
Coffee is believed to take about 20 minutes to take effect. It kills the sleep inducing components and makes you feel awake and alert. The Coffee Nap uses this 20 minutes’ time to grab a quick wink and make the coffee more effective.
Time: 30-45 minutes.
These are the most efficient naps for the so-called quick boost up. They can relieve you of the midday drowsiness that you feel due to the dull lull of activities around you.
I take these naps before I am about to begin any pressuring assignment. Power naps are extremely helpful to regain your physical energy, to induce alertness, and to gain a general increase in your potential all the while keeping you well-rested and fresh.
Time: 60-90 minutes
I have come to call them the all-time-favourite naps. Anybody who is an avid ‘napper’ (this word needs to be introduced in the dictionary, by the way) is familiar with this method of napping.
Famous amongst the elderly and the parents who send their kids off to school after the colossal Morning Kitchen Wars, and just about everybody else, nobody can deny the power of the Classic Siesta.
Time: 7-9 hours
The well-beloved sleep. Do we even have to talk about how important the every night’s sleep is? Here is a fun fact: a week’s loss of sleep is an open invitation to death.
Certified death, at that. This, in my opinion, sums up the vital Memory Boost pretty well.
There are many natural drinks and foods that help you improve the quality of your sleep and help you be fresh and healthy. But even without them, you cannot challenge the sole power of naps. Not unless you want to lose it.
You may also like:
- 10 Scientifically Proven Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep
- 6 Terrifying Things That Happen To Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
- Segmented Sleep – Psychological and Behavioral Implications
- Why Sleep and Success Go Hand in Hand