A friend of mine posted a simple question on a social website recently. The post read “To nap or not to nap? That is the question”. This made me think of a bit of knowledge that I have not thought of in quite a while.
Our bodies respond to the pattern of day and night in the area we live in (with perhaps the exception of the North and South poles during the deep winter or summer). There is a rhythm in nature, in the cycle of night and day that our bodies try to follow whether we are working nights or days or swing shift. Yes, we can use caffeine or other aids to try to stay focused and alert. And, we can try to train our selves to stay mostly alert in spite of an overwhelming desire to indulge in what some call a Power Nap.
This rhythm that I refer to is called the Circadian Rhythm. I learned about this wonderful built-in time clock we all possess when I was in middle school (around 7th grade). This is a cycle within living things that keeps us on a schedule. We get tired when it is dark and we sleep (unless we are nocturnal). When the sun comes up, we naturally become more active. This rhythm is also dependent upon chemicals within the brain and some health factors that are unique to the individual. Another factor is signals from the environment. Most of us can attest to the fact that we get tired and sleep at night and it is easier to sleep when it is dark.
Well, it is for me.
During the day, many of us humans are compelled by slight fatigue to seek out a comfy spot and take a little nap. Most of us can not do this because of a full time job, kids, traffic noise, etc. I don’t know about you, but even if I DO get enough sleep the previous night, I get a little sleepy around the middle of the afternoon. My point in this is to say that I think we should take a nap during the day. We should follow our body’s suggestions for rest, just as some follow their food cravings. Our bodies work the way they do for a reason; to keep us healthy and balanced in body and mind. We should take the hint, if we can.
I encourage you to look up this wonderful aspect of the rhythm of life. Do a little digging of your own. I also encourage you to take a cue from the cats if at all possible…Nap a little once in a while!
To my friend on that social website, I say “Go ahead and nap. You know you want to!”