Have you ever felt like you just really need a nap during the day? Perhaps you did not get a good night’s sleep the night before. Maybe you’re sleeping about the same amount of time each night, but you don’t feel refreshed the next day. If you are an older adult, it may not be your imagination that you are not as well-rested.
Who among us has not only heard of the “afternoon siesta” but also wished to be able to take one? Many cultures encourage and practice the tradition of an afternoon rest or nap. I have also read more than once that this is something even encouraged in Islam.
According to a Cornell Medical College study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (February 2011) and summarized in the May 18, 2012 web article titled “The benefits of napping” found on Harvard.edu, daily naps seem to provide additional needed sleep. Despite beliefs that we need less sleep as we age, experts are in agreement that on average most of us, even older adults, need between 7 ½ and 8 hours of sleep each day to be at our best.
The study referenced above also reported that the napping participants were found to have increased cognitive function in as little as two weeks into the study, with all participants having improved scores on 75% of the tests given to measure intellectual abilities.
With all of this in mind, the next time you feel like an afternoon nap would do you some good, if you can, grab a pillow and take one knowing that it probably will be good for you. Don’t feel guilty; you are doing something beneficial for your health.
Have a blessed and happy day!