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!