When I was a kid, I wasn’t a happy napper, since I was afraid I would miss something. I kept myself entertained with toys and books, maybe talking or singing to myself. I was a good car sleeper, since the darkness on night trips lent itself to peaceful slumber and some of my favorite memories were of being carried into the house by mom or dad, changed into p.j.’s and tucked into bed. Later on, in college, I would sneak naps in whenever I could, to counteract late nights either studying or partying.
As a more mature adult, although I probably have needed them more, I have taken them less. Right before I wrote this article, I awoke from an hour or so nap, having taken one a few hours earlier. Not my normal pattern, as a full time and then some working woman, but induced by heart attack recovery. It is as if all of those 6 hour a night sleeps have finally caught up to me and I am helpless to resist the call of the Sandman. In the past, ( a few weeks ago), I would have felt all kinds of guilty about not being productive. I would have chastised myself for being lazy and worry about what wouldn’t get done while I was in dreamland. Even as I slept, my mind would have been racing with all of the things I needed to do when I did eventually wake up, that it wouldn’t have been restful time.
Power naps-10 minutes or so, can be refreshing, especially when accompanied by soft music or nature sounds.
Amping up 30 minutes could be beneficial, but I have found that if it goes between 30-60 minutes, I still feel kind of groggy.
If I am able to sink into 90 minutes, that sees to be the sweet spot.
Napping later in the day doesn’t serve me well, since it interferes with night time deeper, dream sprinkled sleep.
What I have been reminding myself recently as I take steps in my new life, is that sleep is not only needed for the mechanics of my human state, but a sacred practice to restore and replenish my soul.
Photo credit: Puck – nap guru by Dave Morris