Naps – Your Body Wants ’em, Your Brain Needs ’em

Naps. When is the last time someone gave you permission to snuggle in to the couch, midday, and just grab a few minutes of snooze? When is the last time you gave yourself permission?

Naps: recovering from the “holiday” season

I don’t know about you, but between the tinsel and generosity and time spent with my favorite humans through the Christmas weeks, there is a lot (like, so much!) cooking and cleaning and prepping and un-prepping and shopping and dishes and more dishes.

By the end of the day on Christmas Day I am usually pretty over it. True confession: I had our home stripped of almost all vestiges of Christmas by 10:00 pm on the 25th. I know. You can judge me if it helps. But while you’re critiquing me, just imagine the quiet in my brain when the Christmas clutter gets boxed and shoved back into storage!

By Boxing Day, introverted me is tugging at the sleeve of my interior self. She’s saying things like, “Hey you! Can you just sit down and chill for a sec?” Or, “I’m kinda’ tuckered. Any chance you could just park your butt in a chair and read a book for an hour?” Today is that day for me. Thursday, December 27th. I’ll clear up the detritus of last night’s (laughter-filled) visit with dear friends, toss in a load of laundry, hit the treadmill to stretch my muscles, and then? The couch!

What’s the big deal about naps?

When we give ourselves permission to shut everything off and out, even for just a few minutes, it helps . In her Huffpost article, 7 Very Important Reasons to Take a Nap Right Now, Leigh Weingus reminds us why. Our brains, our hearts, and our patience levels are all tended to by taking a good mid-rush snooze.

A cup of coffee before your nap?

Counter-intuitive though it sounds, the UK Sleep Research Council suggests a cup of coffee before you lie down  (ideally sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 pm). The caffeine will take 20 minutes to kick in allowing you to wake up from your nap with a little zip in your step, and a quick nap between those hours will ensure you’re still able to fall asleep at bedtime.

So, here I am, an internet stranger, giving you permission to just be kind to yourself. Find yourself a soft blanket, a good pillow, and the corner of a couch. Take ten minutes to let your body re-set. After all, she’s been serving you well through the season of giving. She’s gearing up for a brand new year, and you’d do well to give yourself a few minutes each day to give her a little maintenance TLC.

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Sandra McDonald

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