I Just Need a Nap!

featured on the essential life

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days New York City has seen in a while! The sun was shining, there was a light breeze in the air, it was between 75°F & 80°F for the majority of the day, everyone that I encountered was in such a positive mood – it was just beautiful!

I woke up early & headed straight to the hospital for another follow-up appointment with my rheumatologist & for a pulmonary functions exam. Thank God, things are beginning to come back  to normal (back to how they were prior to my hospitalisation) & I’m able to do more & more each day!

Following my doctor appointment, I had plans to visit an old co-teacher that I hadn’t spent time with in a while, but first, I had to run an errand with my mom. By the time I made it to the upper west side, I was just a bit tired! Ironically, when I got to my friend’s apartment, both pf her kids were taking their naps…the life, right?! This got me thinking…why don’t adults get to take naps during the day?! Especially people like me with Lupus. I’m sure napping during the day has its benefits…

According to author, Michael Hyatt, there are many benefits to taking a nap during the day. Here are a few:

The Benefits of Napping

Naps Restore Alertness:  Due to my Lupus symptom, my energy usually takes a huge dip around 11:00am-12:00pm. I begin to get very drowsy, I lose focus, & all I can think of is the remaining hours in the school day & when I can get home to jump into my bed!

Apparently, many of us, even those without illnesses, feel the same way. A quick 30-60 minute nap can do the trick & bring you up to speed! The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of twenty to thirty minutes “for improved alertness & performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.” Drinking a cup of coffee immediately prior to resting can maximise its effect.

Naps Prevent BurnoutManagement of Lupus symptoms, taking time for yourself, & learning when to say “no”, are all necessary when battling Lupus. When these aspects of daily living are not implemented into your lifestyle, your risk burning yourself out. Especially here in New York, we rarely know when to stop and take a minute to relax – we’re constantly on the go! In doing this, we open ourselves up to a life full of stress, frustration, & burnout. Taking a moment to rest your head daily can help relieve stress, lessen frustration, & eliminate the possibility of a burnout.

Naps Heighten Sensory Perception: Napping is known to open & relax the mind which promotes creativity. Personally, I find inspiration immediately after waking from a nap or a night’s rest! During this time, my mind is relaxed & clear, & I am more open to completing certain tasks than I would be if I was tired. According to author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life,  Dr. Sara C. Mednick, napping can also restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, & taste.

Naps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease: According to a 2007 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, those who nap at least three times a week are 37% less likely to die of heart disease…working men are 64% less likely!

Napping Promotes Productivity: According to Michael Hyatt, “The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time; it’s managing your energy.” This makes perfect sense when you really think about it!

We can’t change the number of hours that we are given in a day, but we can change the amount of energy that we spend & conserve in a day! It is only natural that we become less productive as the work day progresses. Napping, for even 30 minutes, can rejuvenate the mind & body, in addition to restoring productivity.

If you have any questions or comments about napping, make yourself heard in the comments. You can also reach us via email at info@TheEssentialLife.org. We would also like to invite all of our readers to make their mark on The Essential Life by becoming one of our contributors. If you would like to share your story, your words & your wisdom with The Essential Life community, & you'd like to see your article featured here on The Essential Life blog, please submit your articles here