I’ve posted frequently about the importance of sleep … but what about napping?
“Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. ~ Robert Fulghum, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.
Of course, perhaps we might need to change that from milk and cookies to some iced tea and low-carb biscuits … but the point remains. According to Dr. Sara Mednick, psychologist at the University of California, Riverside and augher of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, “naps are good for most people.” Her research shows a nap—defined as daytime sleeping that lasts between 15 and 90 minutes—can improve brain functions ranging from memory to focus and creativity. “For some people, naps are as restorative as a whole night of sleep,” she adds. More research shows a quick nap can lower stress and recharge your willpower. And napping has also been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and inflammation.
Medium/Elemental produced a 3-part special report called The Elemental Guide to Napping by Maya Kroth, 19 August 2019.
1. Why Napping is Good for You, According to Science, suggests that a daytime snooze has powerful health benefits.
“All humans, irrespective of culture or geographical location, have a genetically hardwired dip in alertness that occurs in the mid–afternoon hours,” writes UC Berkeley neuroscience professor Matthew Walker in his 2017 bestseller, Why We Sleep.
Listed among the benefits are:
- Napping may stave off heart disease
- Napping lowers your blood pressure — and could prevent heart attacks
- Napping helps you remember — and forget
2. How to Take the Perfect Nap offers 10 science-backed tips for more productive shut-eye.
3. It’s a Right, Not a Privilege: The Napping Resistance Movement … ah, this gets interesting! Who is allowed to rest in American society? Activists and “nap ministers” are embracing sleep as a political act.
Napping is enjoying a renaissance. Books like Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep have topped the bestseller list and corporate America is installing nap rooms, “EnergyPods,” and hammocks in offices, all in the spirit of building a better, more productive workforce.
According to Tricia Hersey, a performance artist and divinity-school graduate (who has become the leading voice in a growing tide of activists who embrace napping as a political act, raising questions about who is allowed to rest in our society and who gets to decide if or when that rest has been earned) states, “Rest isn’t something you need to earn,” she continues. “When I want to lay down and take a nap, that’s a calling. I should listen to my divine body and wash away the concept that I should have to feel guilt and shame around it. It’s toxic and not true.”
Read the series on Napping: