BARRY’S BAY – You can feel it coming on. Resist if you wish, but it’s a losing battle.
The nap is a guilty pleasure that we sometimes deny ourselves; it is not just the domain of the elderly. But is it really a no-no?
The hesitancy around napping probably comes from a work ethic that has programmed us to think that self-care is laziness or self-indulgence in disguise. In cases of genuine fatigue, nothing could be further from the truth. If we are all created with unique traits, then our bodies’ needs will be different at different times.
The word nap, described as “a short daytime sleep” according to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, had its origins in Old English ‘hnappian’ which meant a short sleep. Common use of the idiom ‘cat nap’ is thought to have evolved from 1800s English language. Cats were observed having several short sleeps throughout the day, from which they could quickly spring into action, if disturbed.
There are pros and cons to any activity, and napping is no exception. Understanding why and when and how long we should nap will go a long way to procuring its optimum benefits without causing problems in other areas of our sleep regimen.
The best news is, naps are good for you! According to medical research, the benefits of a nap far outweigh any negative results. But, as with any activity, there are certain guidelines to be followed so that the time spent in snoozeville will be beneficial and not detrimental to your daily activities and health.
Why do we need to nap? There are as many answers to this question as there are humans. People who are sleep deprived from conditions such as sleep apnea, working shiftwork, are up several times at night with a new baby, or are fighting the lingering effects of a health condition can greatly benefit from a nap. Age can also play a part; however, the nap is not the exclusive domain of older adults.
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