I love naps. I love naps so much I take two a day. One in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I’m usually up at 3:30 in the morning. By the time 7:30 comes around in the morning, I’m on my couch, taking a nap. I’ll sleep until 10AM. Then get up, dress, do my chores and then around 3:30 in the afternoon I’m ready for my second nap. I’ll usually sleep for another hour or so. Then get up, have dinner, watch a little TV and then go to bed. I know it sounds like a crazy routine but I’ve been living like this for so long I find it impossible to change my ways.

Napping is very easy to do. Especially during the day. Your mind is pre-occupied and not in a worrying state, as I sometime am at night. I just simply put my head down on my couch, cuddle up in a fetal position, cover myself with a well worn electric blanket and snuggle up with my favorite pillow. Within seconds, I get the best sleep ever when I do this. Instead of tossing and turning as I do at night, I have found napping to be a lifesaver. (lately, my little puppy has been joining me on my naps. she finds an open spot next to me and the two of us take our naps together)

I have found that my naps, however, can sometimes get in the way of a normal lifestyle. I can’t have company over during the day because I’ll usually be sleeping. The same holds true for the evening and the weekends. If I don’t get my naps, I can be very cranky and out of sorts.

Some facts about naps:

Napping isn’t just for babies. Studies show that an afternoon nap is great for adults, too. There’s no need to feel lazy for indulging in daytime sleep. A short nap in the mid-afternoon can boost memory, improve job performance, lift your mood, make you more alert, and ease stress.

Studies have shown that sleep plays an important role in storing memories. A nap can help you remember things learned earlier in the day as much as a full night’s sleep. Napping works to keep you from forgetting things like motor skills, sense perception, and verbal recall, too. Napping, or even just resting for an hour without falling asleep, can brighten your outlook. Experts say relaxation that comes from lying down and resting is a mood booster, whether you fall asleep or not.

If you’re under a lot of pressure, a nap can release stress and improve your immune health. Experts believe that a 30-minute nap can do the trick. A study found that people who napped for 45 to 60 minutes had lower blood pressure after going through mental stress. So a nap can help your body recover from pressure-filled situations.

Although it may seem illogical, taking a nap during the day can help older adults improve sleep at night. Studies show a 30-minute nap between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. combined with moderate exercise, like a walk and stretching in the evening, helps improve nighttime sleep. Mental and physical health can get better, as well.

I know that most people can not take naps during the day. That’s one of the many benefits of being retired: I can take as many naps as I want! It’s a different kind of sleep when compared to your nightly sleeping routine. I highly recommend finding time in your daily routine to take a nap. You’ll feel a whole lot better on just about anything if you do!

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