I am an avid napper. Truly. I love napping. I nap for 30 minutes every day. Yep, every single day. In fact, if you’ve seen my Instagram lately, or read my post on Buzzword Tees, you know that I now have a shirt that boldly proclaims to the world that I am a “Nap Queen.” I used to be kind of embarrassed to tell people about my daily naptime, but guess what? Every time I tell someone, they say how much they love naps too. Still, there seems to be a napping stigma in our busy, busy world. Does napping give the impression that a person is lazy or otherwise unproductive?
Interestingly enough, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We all know sleep itself is universally beneficial, but a nap has unique benefits all it’s own. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you can consider napping a “mini-vacation.” Napping is proven to be a potent mood-booster, to increase creativity and also productivity. In fact, a 1995 study found that the benefits of a nap lasted longer than those from caffeine.
Despite the well-documented benefits, napping has still gotten a bad rap. One of the chief complaints is the grogginess that people feel upon waking. But a Harvard Men’s Health study found that napping boosts alertness significantly, with even just 20 minutes shown to perk up shift workers. According to Harvey B. Simon, M.D., the editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, to optimize the benefits of napping, don’t sleep too long (a 20- to 40-minute nap sometime between noon and 4 p.m. will refresh you without keeping you up at night. And he recommends you give yourself 10-15 minutes to wake fully before resuming a demanding task.
Still not convinced? Check out the excellent book Take a Nap! Change Your Life, by sleep researchers Mark Ehrman and Sara Mednick. They go so far as to compare napping to a free, nontoxic product with no dangerous side effects that “increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory.” WHEW!
This napping during the day, every day, is serious business, my friends! I have a few nap essentials like the anti-aging Slip Pillowcase. It’s an anti-aging, anti-sleep crease,and anti-bed head pillowcase that is widely recommended by dermatologists, beauty experts, and plastic surgeons. I love it! Slip also makes an eye mask, which I use as well. Daytime napping almost always requires an eye mask, and this one is effective in blocking light, and I love the way it feels on my face. (Click the images below for more information.)
Famous nappers like JFK, Churchill, Einstein, and Napoleon were convinced. I don’t need any more convincing. Right now, I just need my nap.
Blessings and Happy Napping,
Photo by Megan Weaver.