Guilty pleasures- the joy of the afternoon nap

Nov 5, 2018

Every afternoon at about 4 o clock there was a delicious, warm sunny spot in my bedroom in Cape Town. It was perfectly timed for when I got home from school.

I can remember collapsing onto my bed still in my hockey clothes, muddy and a bit sweaty into that inviting soft spot.

Waking up about 30 minutes later feeling revived and ready to continue with the day once the sun had moved on, nourished me and helped me process the stress of my teenage school years.

We have always been a family of nappers.

Every day without fail my Mom had an afternoon nap. It was her sacred time when we were not allowed to enter her bedroom. A brief respite for her from a busy day of domestic tasks, and ferrying my sister and I around. I thought my Mom was super woman when I was little, I just couldn’t believe how much she could do, and maybe the afternoon nap was part of her secret.

In pre- industrial times humans did not sleep straight through the night, but rather in two shifts. They would sleep when the sun went down, and arise again later in the night for a couple of hours. The time would be used to work by candlelight, relax, have sex or read.

There in fact some surprising advantages to that cheeky nap:

It reduces stress

Helps your blood pressure and heart

Boosts your mood

Increases alertness

Heightens your creativity

Powers your libido

Stops you overeating

Nourishes your adrenals, and immune system

Why more sleep is good

If you don’t believe me, listen to sleep scientist Dr Sarah Mednick in her Ted talk “Give it up for the down state – sleep ” here

In an age when we are more stressed than ever and most people have problems with their night time sleep, maybe taking that little power nap could help?

I see it as a beautiful way to introduce another bit of rest , and self care into my day when possible. I often have my best ideas on waking up from my nap.

So, I invite you to let go of the guilt, curl up in that sunny spot by the window, stretch out in front of the fire, lay on the grass, and make like a cat !

Adi Howarth is a massage therapist, homeopath and mum based in Brighton and treating clients all over the world on Skype . She specialises in helping women get calm, balanced and strong by balancing their hormones naturally.

If you would like to know how she can help you, book a free 30 minute clarity call here.

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