Do you take afternoon naps ?

I have taken afternoon naps for decades. Since my late 20's when I lived in the tropics and it was just too hot and it made me sluggish, so an afternoon nap where I missed the heat of the day and just for 30 m- 60 minutes and I would wake feeling refreshed.

One day I called a friend and asked what he was doing and he stated he was just about to take an afternoon nap, and it made me feel less concerned about napping knowing someone else was as guilty of doing it as I was.


I felt guilty because working for myself meant I could take whatever time I wanted - at any time - to nap - and I felt I should be working like everyone else. I felt I was being lazy even though I would be working late into the evening when most people have their feet up and watching Eastenders...Hearing he was also napping in the afternoon made me feel much better about it.


Do you ever feel guilty about napping?


Running Hamilton Hall is a 12 - 18 hour day - 7 days a week - and there are many days when you just MUST take half an hour to nap or else the day will wear you down - and as long as I keep the nap to less than an hour, I am fine, while anything longer - say and hour and a half plus, then I wake feeling tired and this also impacts my night time sleep.


I had friends who would nap at 11pm in the evening in preperation for a night out on the town - and sorry, but that is not me. That time of night if I nap, then I sleep deeply and wouldn't even think of reserecting my body to go out and party.


Don’t get me wrong: I don’t do it everyday but if I’m feeling tired, especially in this current heatwave, I’ll easily nod off for half an hour or so.


I have taught myself to 'Power Nap' - as Maggie Thatcher use to do. I lay on top of the bed in a certain position different to hopw I sleep at night - SETTING THE ALARM FOR 45 MINUTES - and keeping my eyes closed at all times, will drift off in miniutes. If I open my eyes at any time then I simply stay awake... as its important that my eyes to see darkness.

Naps can be incredibly important for our overall health as it can help reduce stress and even keep your heart healthy.

In fact, just last year, the NHS shared research from University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, which showed that afternoon naps may lower heart attack and stroke risk.


While it is recommend that you aim for the seven to nine hours a night, there is certainly a place for naps during the day, especially if you’ve had a disturbed sleep the night before or even just feel you need a little rest, then there is no harm in having a snooze in the daytime.


I find the best time to take a nap is between 2pm and 3pm although some times it can be more like between 3 - 5pm - when my energy starts to lag but to only nap for 20 - 30 minutes maximum, so that you get the quality REM sleep as a quick boost, but not a deep sleep.


If I fall too deeply asleep then when I wake, it feels like I have been drugged and I am really sluggish.


People who nap often have better word recall – a sign of good memory.


However, if you want to have a good night’s sleep, it is best not to nap for any longer than half an hour, especially after 3pm.


Christmas is a very busy time here. I work solidly from 7am - 1am right through and am exhausted come mid afternoon and sometimes I will get a 20 minute nap and feel so much better afterwards and can contuinue on right through the rest of the day.


I have to admit, I do love an afternoon nap and if and when I need one , or get the chnce for one it does feel like I am spoiling myself - but then, I work hard and loing hours and 7 days a week, so what the hell.


So enjoy your napping - your power naps or afternoon snooze and enjoy. It does you good.


John Bellamy


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