In this modern world, we’re often compelled to be as productive as possible during as many hours of the day as we can. While this can lead to great feats of accomplishment, we may become exhausted and find ourselves craving rest and rejuvenation. We may feel like taking a nap but feel guilty about indulging in even ten minutes of rest. This need for personal downtime, which many people experience in the early afternoon, isn’t a sign of laziness nor is it necessarily related to how much sleep you had the night before. There was even a time when taking a nap was considered a natural part of everyone’s day.
Napping is a pleasurable if brief period of sleep when our minds and bodies can take a break. Though usually thought by many to be a pastime for children or the elderly, napping can benefit people of all ages. The desire to nap is a trait shared by many mammals, and napping is still an important part of the day in some countries. Snoozing for a half-hour can promote physical well-being, and naps have been known to improve mood and memory. A 20-minute nap can sharpen your senses and revitalise you, while a ten minute nap can leave you feeling more cheerful. Falling into a light sleep during the daytime can feel meditative. The thoughts you have as you are taking a nap and the dreams you experience may offer you insights about your life that you may not have at night when you are in a deep sleep.
In order to fully enjoy the benefits of napping, you may need to give yourself permission to nap. Feeling guilty about snoozing or worrying about your to-do list won’t do you much good when you are trying to take a nap because your thoughts or feelings will keep you awake. Try to nap at the same time each day, and use an alarm clock to ensure that you don’t sleep for too long. Learning to nap and enjoy its restorative benefits can help you wake up restored, rejuvenated, and ready for the rest of your day.
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