The art of napping...

 

Sometimes, my husband and I joke that napping is my favorite hobby. I’m telling ya, there is nothing I love more than an afternoon nap. I have mastered the technique, and now have my napping down to a science. I strip down into comfy clothes, pull our room darkening shades down, turn the box fan on medium, throw in some ear plugs, snuggle right into our king size bed, and I am out. Usually an hour to an hour and a half is perfect. I wake up refreshed and rested, ready to tackle the rest of my day.

There are days when I nap out of necessity. I work long shifts in a hospital (sometimes 24 hours) and can only sleep if and when there is down time. Other days, I nap because my body is exhausted and I can’t fight the fatigue. But, if I am being honest, most days I nap simply because I enjoy it.  I plan that I will get to nap every day, and I consider it a rough day when I can’t.

I have been told though, that napping isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So I decided to do a little research about napping and here’s what I came up with:

There are several benefits to napping-

·        Improvement in mood

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·        Improvement in performance

·        Improvement in memory

·        Quicker reaction time; Alertness

·        Relaxation

·        Decreased Fatigue

But only a few negatives-

·        Grogginess when waking

·        Sleep trouble at night

Tips and Tricks for Napping-

Keep naps short- it may take a few trial naps to figure out your nap length sweet spot, some resources say no more than 20m, while others say an hour.  Either way, once you figure out what your best napping time frame is, then set an alarm to help you stick to it.

Take naps earlier in the day, napping later will interfere with your nighttime sleep. Maybe right after a lunch time full belly?

Create the right napping environment- quiet, darkened, comfortable temperature, and without distractions.

Give yourself time to wake up after your nap before you have to make any important decisions.

Napping Accessories- Not required, but these are some things that I use that I really enjoy:

·        Room Darkening Blinds/ Eye Mask

·        Noise Machine/ Box Fan

·        Linen Spray/ Oil Diffuser- I like lavender and eucalyptus scents

 

Napping can sometimes be surrounded by stigma. Babies nap. Lazy people nap. Well, so do I. I just happen to have a chronic medical disease, but I am also a wife, mother, and nurse practitioner. I work hard, so I will nap if I want to. See you when I wake up!


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Charlotte Rensberger is from Battle Creek, Michigan. She has been battling Crohn's disease since she was 16 years old and has a permanent ileostomy at age 36. She has been married for 13 years, and has two school aged children who keep her busy. Charlotte is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who currently works in a community hospital's newborn nursery. In her spare time, she bakes, re-finishes furniture, buys antiques, does crafts, and sing with her church's worship band.