5 reasons why daiIy naps are radical (and essential in my book)

I’ve literally just awoken from a 40 minute crash out on the couch and am feeling a little bewildered and guilty (if I’m honest).  But WOW… I do feel refreshed and ready to take on the world (and write to you)!

I was feeling so very busy, with a ‘to do’ list the length of a super highway across the USA and had just arrived home from teaching yoga classes since 6am, working my 8th teaching day straight since landing from Bali last Monday (aaaaah Mama Bali – I miss you and your soft energy).  I was feeling exhausted by the pace of Sydney life and concerned at how easily I had slipped back into the crazy hamster wheel of over achiever-ism and saying YES to every new opportunity …. and the need to make enough cash to survive in one of the most expensive cities in the world (eeek – where did my abundance vibes go – more on that later).  I was already feeling burnt out as per my usual Sydney pattern and not really looking after myself (note to self – learn to practice what you preach), already starting to run on empty, propped up my Loving Earth LUVJU raw chocolate to keep the machine ticking over.

So rather than get home and open my email I flopped on the couch and turned on TV (yes we have a TV where we are currently staying – what a novelty – first time in two years back in front on the box!?) and I felt a little naughty, like I was indulging in some kind of illicit behaviour… AND I was watching something ultra trashy on MTV and it felt mind numbingly awesome!  No thoughts of blogging, or social media, or retreats sales, or emails, or yoga classes, just mindless immersion into ‘Ex on the Beach’ featuring some of my old friends from Geordie Shore (ha)… YES… GENIUS (non judgement please – this is not regular behaviour)!

And then I was asleep… deliciously asleep… 

And just like all of my life revelations, this one had come via my body as it always tells me what it needs… especially when my head chooses not to listen!  

Today was not an isolated occurrence.  My 3 months overseas softened me a lot and made me more sensitive to my body’s needs.  I’ve always heard my body’s pleas but simply chose not to listen, generally pushing through until rudely halted in my tracks by illness or utter exhaustion so this opening to the idea of napping is a necessary addition to my Sydney schedule.  When you leave the house at 5.30am to teach 3 classes before midday and then deal with all the rest of the admin, social media and comms that go along with having your own business, plus good housewife duties it’s no wonder I often find myself curled up on the sofa… and now I find myself thinking… why the hell have I not been doing this FOREVER!!?? Napping is the BEST!!   

 5 reasons why daily napping rocks my world:

  • A nap prevents burnout. In our crazy non stop world of opportunity we can get way out of balance and burnt out.  The raw chocolate and the coffee will help prop you up for a while but this cycle of behaviour leads to stress, adrenal fatigue and a whole range of other health issues like heart disease, cancer and many other stress related conditions (so pretty much everything).  When we take a nap it’s like rebooting the computer or giving yourself a quick cleanse leading to to a fresh new outlook for the rest of your day.
  • A nap is restorative. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of 20–30 minutes “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”
  • A nap improves your creativity.  Napping relaxes our mind and often facilitates the relaxation of our left brain (where many of us are more dominant, particularly as we move through our work day depending on what you do).  Whilst the left brain rests the right brain and can come out to play, digesting some house keeping bits and delivering new creative insights on waking.  Ever used the term “I’ll sleep on it” when trying to chew through a decision?  This may be why it works.
  • A nap makes your more productive.  As I sit here typing away I would have to agree.  Do you find yourself becoming less productive as the day wears on?  Numerous studies have shown that a 20 – 30 minute afternoon siesta has shown to boost productivity and performance of workers – and I am certainly one of them!
  • A nap is like a mini vay-cay from our busy day. This is a major happy hormone boosting psychological benefit. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation providing rest, rejuvenation and maybe some dream time pool side pina coladas (ha)!   

Napping Tips

  • Keep it short.  Stick to around  20 – 30 mins so as not to disrupt your evening sleep cycle.
  • Be consistent. Try to nap at the same time every day in order to stabilise your circadian rhythms and get the best effects.
  • Make it a ritual. Turn off the lights (or use an eye mask), grab a blanket, make it a little self love ritual – a gift of an afternoon refresh for your body, mind and spirit!
  • Find a safe space. Getting busted napping is not so fun and I know those who work full time in an office are probably reading this thinking ‘great SJ! How on earth do I nap at work?‘ I agree… this is a little challenging but why not try to find a a place outside, a park where you can find a sunny spot for some grounding and Vitamin D, or perhaps a lounge area in your office where you may not be disturbed. Maybe you will start a trend and create a ‘work nap club’.
  • And just like me… please change your perception about napping.  It is not weak or lazy… it is intelligent, and believe me when I say the ‘TO DO LIST’ will still be there when you wake up 20 mins later feeling re-energised and ready to make progress.

So tell me gods and goddesses – do you dig napping?  Tell me your story and leave me a comment below xx