Sometimes I wish I had a cats life. Not because I am particularly interested in chasing mice, or coughing up hairballs, or because I like the taste of fish. No, it is this soft critters ability to nap that I am envious of. These furry friends are the boss when it comes to napping. And I love a good nap!
I used to work with this guy who would arrive at work looking like he literally just crawled out of bed or from under a rock, poor fella. He constantly had bags under his eyes, his clothes were disheveled as was his hair. He was for lack of a better word… a mess. You see he had 3 children under the age of 3. Yes, you heard that right… the poor bastard.
I remember being very intrigued by his life at my ripe old age of 21. Thinking, is this what real adult life looks like?
One day I asked him, what do you miss the most about before you had children. I fully expected him to say sex, a social life or travel. Something obvious and slightly more significant. But his answer was napping… Napping?
When life began to pick up the pace for me, with work demands, family problems, friends, dating, bills, you know the drill, adult things. I found myself remembering that conversation with my poor ram-shackled ex-coworker and I thought… I must nap!
I still do not have children, I still enjoy a rather selfish life and my thought process may be a bit strange. But with the mindset of taking nothing in life for granted, I began napping more frequently then I would have it had not been for that slightly alarming time working with the “saddest most tired man in the world”.
So at the very least once a month, I snuggle up on the couch or in bed and check out for 20 minutes to an hour.
Be back later, I am napping.
1. You Deserve it
Of course, this would be my top reason. You are a hardworking busy person and you deserve to take 20-30 minutes to yourself to rest up when you feel like it. Just as getting a massage or buying something you love is a way you may pamper yourself so to should be taking a nap. Everyone deserves a little break.
2. Decreases Stress
Life sucks sometimes, people get into arguments, your boss may have ruined your day, you are late on your bills. The shit list can go on and on Checking out for a short while to take a nap when stress creeps in can help immediately relieve the stress. Yes, the problems may still be there when you wake up, but I guarantee the intensity of the stress felt will have decreased.
3. Restores Alertness
This may be obvious but no less important to remember. Human beings are among the only living creatures that sleep all in one shot. Weird right?
The only real reason that we developed that way is because at one point we were sort of afraid of the dark, unable to do anything outside of the comfort of our cozy caves. Did you sleep for your 8 hours last night? Yes? And you’re still a zombie? Then you may need to just take a pick me up nap and refresh yourself. Sometimes we just need it.
Take some advice from you cat, or dog, or hamster. They know what’s up.
4. Improves Memory
From this article broadcasting new research done on napping, we can finally scientifically prove the correlation between memory and taking a nap. Professor Axel Mecklinger a scientist from Saarland University in Germany said: “a nap of just 45 minutes to an hour ‘produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory”. Need I say more?
5. Increases Creativity
Remember all the stress and all those problems? Well, napping could provide you with some unorthodox solutions subconsciously and you might not even know it is happening. In a study done by The Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging at Georgetown University, it was found that while we are sleeping the right hemisphere of the brain is significantly more active, firing off messages to the left side of our brains.
The significance? Well, roughly 95% of the general population is right-handed, making the normal brain function of the brainless prominent and quite different than this during waking hours.
So long story short, sleeping and napping changes the function of the brain, changing our thoughts and processes. Proving that sometimes we will wake with new ideas and solutions is not just an assumption, it really does and can happen.
So take a nap! If the reasons above are not enough of an excuse for you to do so, then just think of my poor old co-worker mentioned earlier. Enjoy the simple things in life and take care of yourself.
Are you going to take a nap today?