The Power Nap!

power-nap-500x400

When I was a little girl and stayed at my grandparents home, I vividly remember my grandfather coming home at noon from his job as an attorney, eating lunch and then taking a 20 minute nap, every-single-day. His routine left a real impression on me and ever since, I’ve tried to take naps whenever and wherever I can.

Naps are a humongous Silver Lining in my life. I find that they are most important when I am the busiest. I find that they are a hyper-efficient way to find add a little zip-a-dee-doo-dah to the day and are far better than any jolt of caffeine.

The benefits of napping have been well documented. Research has shown that a nap can promote physical well-being, improve mood and memory, sharpen senses and revitalize a person. The neurons in brain functioning get to rest and recuperate from the day’s stress. Intellectual performance improves from the boost a midday nap provides and accuracy in performance increases too. MRI’s of nappers show that brain activity stays high throughout the day with a nap. Without one, it declines as the day wears on.

My best napping happens in the early afternoon, preferably after lunch.  My eating habits also contribute to my ability (or inability to nap). For example, consuming large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, meddle with my ability to fall asleep. So, for lunch (in the hour or two before nap time), I try to eat foods high in calcium and protein because they promote sleep.

I find that napping beyond 40 minutes makes me feel groggy and undermines the reviving effects that a 20-30 minute nap provides.

I also try to darken my nap zone (because darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone) either by closing the curtains or wearing an adorable eye mask that a girlfriend gave me (I think as a joke!) for my birthday last year.

Additionally, because our body temperatures decrease when sleeping, I always cover myself with a snuggly blanket.

Oh, and if you feel like napping is ummmm, lazy, check out these self-proclaimed nappers include Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci , Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Johannes Brahms, John D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gene Autry, Nikola Tesla, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon Bonaparte, Salvador Dali and Sylvester Stallone. Not exactly underachievers, right?  Just sayin’…

So, I hope that you embrace the siesta!  I know firsthand that it will add some Silver Linings to your day!

Leave a comment

Comments

  1. Isabel says

    Dear Hollye,
    I wish americans could start to see the huge benefits of taking a 30 minute afternoon Siesta as a sign of laziness or weakness. In my native Barcelona, most people go home to lunch and as soon as you leave the table you go to bed to take a 30 minute nap, that's what my parents did, my grand parents too and their parents before them as well.
    I must confess since I been living here in America (93108) I have become terribly ashamed of taking an afternoon nap, fearing that I am not doing enough already and yet I have the nerve to take 30 minutes of my time to relax and reboot.
    Thank you for rescuing the immense value of the Siesta! l love every single post you are always so generous to share with your readers.
    Abrazos y todo mi carino.
    Isabel

    • says

      Dear Isabel,
      Wow, what a lovely note. It's so interesting how there are feelings of shame and even laziness surrounding a nap. I must say that I just took mine and feel soooooo much better! I hope that you will be able to channel your Barcelona roots and add naps into your routine!
      Gracias por sus amables palabras!
      Hollye

  2. says

    Hollye, I have to tell you that I love your website. I only wish mine looked as elegant as yours! In fact I love your site so much that I just blogged about it (and Tweeted, and Facebook'd and mentioned it on Linked In…!). I'm also a FBC survivor – 8 years for me. I find your blog inspirational, encouraging, and sometimes downright funny. Keep up the good work. You can find mine at marnieclark.com – I write a daily article to help those going through breast cancer too. Sending lots of love to you today.

    • says

      Thanks so much, Marnie. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind note and sharing The Silver Pen on your blog. Super awesome. All my best wishes to you!
      Warmly,
      Hollye

  3. Cynthia says

    Eye masks are no joke! I have one that I always use when I travel…it is like a hotel room security blanket! xo c.

Trackbacks