I’ve been thinking about the subject of naps, and am wondering what there is to say that would shed any light on the pros and cons of a regular sleep time.
Naps have been a part of my life since I was a child. My mother believed children should take to the bed every afternoon for a nap. I would argue that I was not sleepy, but she would assure me all I needed to do was just be there and be quiet. Of course, I would fall asleep within minutes. I doubt my health was the primary reason for these afternoon breaks, but rather they helped her maintain some level of good mental health.
“Please get these kids out of my hair for just a few minutes,” was probably her reasoning.
My granddad took a 15 minute nap every day immediately after lunch. He had a favorite chair in the living room, and there he would shut his baby blues and rejuvenate his body. He would awaken, wash his face and hands and walk back to his office in town (a mere five blocks away). The Sabbath was the only day his routine varied. He still took his nap, but he didn’t venture to his workplace. He read, or listened to the news, or sat on the porch swing and chatted with neighbors walking by.
Some cultures design their days around afternoon naps. They close up shop for 2 to 3 hours after lunch, put their feet up, close their eyes and enjoy some peace and quiet. Then they slowly get up, and head back to their businesses for another 3-4 hours of work. Seems like that is a good practice. Your body is able to process the food you have inhaled, and your brain is able to process whatever nonsense you have been mulling over in the course of the morning.
I for one love naps, but I have found you don’t need to limit them to afternoons. I can take naps in the morning, in the evening, just about any time, but I am plagued with guilt if I take several during the day. After all, shouldn’t I be doing something productive? We do have that conflict in our culture. We are supposed to work, work, work, and not over do a good thing like rest. But, I’m learning, just because no one else takes multiple naps every day, doesn’t mean I can’t.
Heck, who’s going to know I spend hours napping, except for my doglets? And they aren’t telling since they usually beat me to the bed.