Friday, February 20, 2009

The Case for An Afternoon Nap

Yesterday afternoon I did something wonderful. I took a nap. I hadn't slept well the night before and was cranky and out of sorts all morning. I glugged coffee, struggled through my workout, and sat blankly at my computer for two hours trying to write. The only thing I accomplished was to research remedies for puffy eyes. (FYI, old fashioned cucumber slices and tea bag compresses still seem to be the best fixes.)

Finally, at 2 p.m., I stopped fighting my fatigue and went upstairs to my bedroom. I only intended to "stretch out" as my grandmother used to say, but I immediately fell fast asleep. I woke at 3:45 p.m. just before my daughter Emma got home from school. That nap was amazing, because I felt marvelous for the rest of the day.

We women are often so busy taking care of everyone else that we short change our own needs. Many of us are not getting a full night's sleep, which undermines our mental alertness and overall health. A restorative mid-day nap might just be the answer. Power napping has been proven to increase productivity and reduce stress. Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison were avid nappers, and they certainly were no slouches in the productivity department.

As comedian Carrie Snow says, No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap.”

Being sleep-deprived is not a virtue. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, and I'm advocating afternoon naps as one of our unalienable rights. Take out your calendar and schedule some time to recline. And don't call me after lunch!

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