The Luxury of Naps
“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
In my late 30s and early 40s, when I was raising 5 kids, home schooling them, taking care of the household, running Evenstar part-time and maintaining a small home birth midwifery practice, I got the idea that I did not need to sleep. I had a strong constitution Luxury Sleeping Masks and even stronger will-power and convinced myself that I could do well on 3-4 hours of sleep most nights and “catch-up” on sleep some nights by sleeping in for 6 hours.
Talk about the folly of youth!
I am convinced that these sleepless years contributed much to the aches and pains and diminished energy of my late 40s. Since my middle 40s, when I got fed up with my dwindling energy, I have had a focused intention to educate people about the power and importance of sleep. And I resolved to never be sleep deprived again. What is so important that you have to go through life drowsy and dragging?
Now, I take the power of sleep very seriously. My wake-sleep times are regular – to bed at the same time every night and up at the same time every morning. And my #1 lifestyle rule is to make sure that I have 8 hours of sleep every night. My bedroom is deliciously inviting for sleep and I have a wonderful nighttime routine that I look forward to each night. Good quality sleep is a cherished pleasure in my life these days.
In my quest for finding out more about the power of sleep and it’s rejuvenating affects on the body, I keep running across the importance of napping. There are some powerful peak performers who nap regularly.
One of my intentions for 2007 is to be well rested – not just to get good quality sleep every night but to take the concept further and to be sure that I am rested: refreshingly at ease; free from exertion; to be tranquil and at peace; to be quiet and still; mental and spiritual calm. Why not take advantage of the wisdom of successful nappers and incorporate napping into my lifestyle?
To facilitate that intention I have created the perfect napping environment. I bought a camping cot from K-Mart – inexpensive and very cool. Bought inviting blue and while cotton sheets and a creamy color cuddly blanket, with a comfy bed topper, and a wonderful new memory foam pillow (the most comfortable pillow in the world).
I set up this “cot experience” in my office. Refreshing, soothing, beautiful and inviting – it beckons me to stay well rested.
It is part of your natural energy cycle for your energy levels to decline throughout the day. With that energy decline, away goes your alertness, cognitive sharpness, your awareness and your motivation. In the past when I would feel that downward swing in energy I would try to rest my head on my desk. Now, we all know just how uncomfortable that can be. Resting your head doesn’t have the rejuvenating effect of actually lying down horizontally.
But now I have this wonderfully refreshing napping cot. When I feel this downward swing of energy I take a pause and lay down and rest for a while. Sometimes I actually sleep and sometimes I just do some heart breathing and refocus myself on what I want to see happening in my life. No more pushing. A return to being refreshingly at ease. I am loving this – and my productivity and creativity is skyrocketing!