I’ve always resisted napping, afraid I might miss something. It’s the same reason I don’t like to sleep in. There’s a big world out there and it ticks along regardless of my sleep status–what if something big happens and I sleep through it?
And isn’t napping a waste of a perfectly good day? That’s my thinking. So if I’m tired and feeling like napping, I’ll resist it in favor of doing something “productive.”
I know. Here’s the conundrum. Resisting sleep is something little kids do. But thinking we need to be productive? That’s 100 percent adult stuff. But I’m not so sure it’s smart.
My husband can nap at the drop of a hat, and does. In fact, his two-hour nap this afternoon was the catalyst for this post.
So why don’t more of us nap?
We’re too busy. We’re a society that gives kudos to people who over-work, over-perform and just plain over-do.
People who nap could be, we suspect, lazy? Maybe they’re too willing to sleep their lives away rather than…rather than WHAT?
Make more money? Take the kids to more soccer games, lessons and activities? What is it that our reluctance to nap says about us?
I think it says that we are not leading balanced lives.
People who nap have something to teach us.
Those people who nap? We should listen to them.
They recognize the contribution of “rest” to a balanced life. That sufficient rest is necessary to perform at our best. That sometimes a good night’s sleep isn’t enough. The willingness to nap means that we are listening to our bodies when they tell us we need a bit more rest.
Now, my husband had a full night’s sleep. But he also spent a couple hours doing some heavy gardening, trimming and cutting back our plants. Once he’d finished and had lunch, he turned on his Kindle and began to read. Soon, though, his eyelids lowered, his breathing regulated and he was asleep. His body told him it was time to take a little rest, and he did.
Me? I was riveted to a book that I wanted to finish. But by my side, my dog, Riley, was sound asleep. For hours. Dogs are great at napping.
And then, my eyes began to close and I decided to stop resisting. I woke up 90 minutes later, refreshed and ready to finish the book. Which I did.
Conventional wisdom says that as we age, we need less sleep. But I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s harder for us to sleep. I think our bodies tell us when we need to rest and it’s smart to listen.
That’s what I’m going to do from now on. Which means I’ll spend more time napping than I ever have.
And that’s a good thing.
- Find a comfy spot.
- If you need tools, like foam earplugs or an eye mask, have them at the ready.
- Put on something comfortable.
- Lie down.
What’s your relationship with napping?