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Afternoon Delight: Let’s Hear it for Naps

February 12, 2022

Another Way for week of February 4, 2022

Afternoon Delight: Let’s Hear it for Naps

Oh what a pleasure is the afternoon nap. I think it may be the best part of retirement. Not that I take one every day, but at least four to five days out of seven I succumb to stealing away for the sweet guilty pleasure of sleeping sometime in the middle of the day.

Naptime–a few years ago. We now have a different dog, cat, and an older me.

If you promise not to tell anyone, I even stole some “power” naps when I worked pretty much fulltime at the office. Not when I first started, mind you, because a private office with a lockable door was necessary for the afternoon nap (which I didn’t have at first).

But when I got a private office, I learned that 10-20 minutes spent on the floor of my office would revive me for more focused work and brain power the rest of the day. Sleeping on the floor at the office also guaranteed that I would not oversleep there. Sometimes I just put my head down on my desk for a quick pick-me-up. Honestly, what good is a worker who is not alert and maybe nodding with a drooping head? Therefore: the afternoon nap.

Naps began in earnest when I got pregnant. I didn’t nap at the office (kind of uncomfortable being pregnant and on the floor!), but I would often grab a nap the first thing when I got home. I knew it was beneficial for the little one growing inside. I felt much renewed to take a short rest before jumping into an evening of chores and cooking.

I loved naptime for my children as well, a tradition we kept going pretty much as long as we could. Once they were sleeping through the night, their naps were also for me to be able to get things done—to have a little “me time.”

This guy. Grandson.

My husband was never able to take a nap at the facilities (mostly factories or warehouses) he worked in. He usually grabbed his naps soon after he got home, or sometime in the late afternoon/evening.  

I do find that I don’t want to oversleep the nap. If I succumb to a full hour or more (which I have done), I awaken groggy and even headachy and it takes me awhile to get going again. I just googled that: 20 minutes is suggested as a good duration for a nap—and most of mine are in that neighborhood. Try setting your alarm for 20 minutes if you typically oversleep the amount of time you’d like to nap.

The National Sleep Foundation says that “Power naps taken in the early afternoon usually last 15 to 20 minutes and can restore and refresh you when experiencing a natural decline in energy and wakefulness. NASA tested the effects of power napping on astronauts and found it had an effective boost to performance and alertness.”

For me, it is also helpful if I just rest without sleeping. Sometimes I am too keyed up or expecting a phone call or need to get a project finished or started—and my brain won’t let me sleep. So then I get up after 10 minutes or so, and usually feel quite refreshed and ready to go again.

Cousin camp tires this fella out.

I’m told also that napping can be good for heart health—again, if you don’t overdo it. If you feel draggy and just can’t keep going, then too much napping can be a sign of not getting enough sleep at night, or other health issues. We all sleep more when we have a day of flu or now, come down with covid, so napping doesn’t always mean good health.

Cats and dogs certainly know the blessing of napping throughout the day. In the Bible we read that Jesus took naps. Today we call this “self-care.”

Oh, I feel a yawn coming on. Maybe I’ll sneak off for that nap right now. It will feel so wonderful…

***

Do you like naps? Or do they make you too groggy for the rest of the day?

Or perhaps you nap sitting up like my hubby?

***

When I lived in Spain as a college student, the afternoon siesta was absolutely accepted–no classes at the university from about 1-4 p.m., shops closed down, even eating places closed down. How wonderful and sensible! Of course, folks stayed up much later, with the evening meal often coming about 9 p.m.

Comment here or send to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

4 Comments
  1. I love afternoon naps. Sometimes twenty minutes of napping gives me the boost of energy needed. 🙂

  2. I agree! Thanks for popping in here to comment. I love the 20-minute variety. 🙂

  3. Of course I like naps, usually just 20-30 minutes most days and feel refreshed, not groggy. A prolific, young author I know takes two naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Power naps!

    My Grandma L. would “put her feet up” every day, a great example. 😀

  4. I love the glimpse of your Grandma L. I’m afraid I would have trouble squeezing in two naps but if it works for the prolific author, more power to her. 🙂 I’ll have to catch up on one tomorrow, today was a celebration of life service in the morning, and a bridal shower most of the afternoon. Both meaningful but very different celebrations, right?. Blessings on your weekend!

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