in praise of napping
#MondayMusings - Journeying Through Midlife - Wellness

In Praise of Napping #MondayMusings

I know one person who is going to have a good laugh as he reads this post. My husband – José. He’s been an afternoon napper since we first met almost 9 years ago! I’d tease him for not being able to resist hitting the bed almost 15 minutes after lunch.

When we got married he’d pester me to come and rest. Somehow, naps were not something that was encouraged when I was growing up. Why even today I don’t think my almost-90-year-old father naps during the day! Somewhere in my subconscious napping during the day amounted to laziness.

In the last year, I’m often the first one to head off for a nap after lunch (sometimes before too) and I find I can’t function without a nap during the day. Midlife, wisdom or the bad influence of my husband, I don’t know, but nap I must. And little did I dream that I’d one day write this post in praise of napping!

in praise of napping
Photo Credit: Chinobu via Compfight cc

According to Dr Sara Mednick in her book, Take a Nap! Change Your Life! human beings are the only animals that try to get by with one long stretch of sleep.

“Let’s look at the rest of the animal kingdom. Do any other species try to get all their sleep in one long stretch? No. They’re all multiphasic, meaning that they have many phases of sleep. Homo sapiens (our modern industrialized variety, anyway) stand alone in attempting to satisfy the need for sleep in one phase. And even that distinction is a relatively recent development. For most of our history, a rest during the day was considered as necessary a component of human existence as sleeping at night. As A. Roger Ekirch, one of the few historians to study sleep, put it, ‘Napping is a tool as old as time itself.”
~ Sara C. Mednick from

Imagine that!!

“Naps restore you. Even a six-minute nap can improve memory and problem solving. Naps can act as the ideal pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon or while at work. Winston Churchill always tried to take a daytime nap. Many world leaders take “power naps.” Before the industrial revolution, most of the population routinely took naps. Why? Human beings are built that way. As you learned in the chapter on sleep, before artificial lighting from gas or electricity, people normally slept at night and during the day. Our body clocks decree it.”
~ Matthew Edlund from The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough. A 30-Day Plan to Reset Your Body

I’ve always learned that you should never disturb Catholic nuns and priests between 12.30 pm and 4.00 pm, because they would be having their lunch followed by a ‘siesta’. I wondered where the word came from.

Sara Mednick says: “By the first century B.C., the Romans had divided their day into periods designated for specific activities, such as prayer, meals and rest. Midday became known as sexta, as in the sixth hour (noon by their way of counting), a time when everyone would go to bed. The word has survived in the familiar term siesta.”

Call me lazy or whatever you want to, but please don’t disturb me during my siesta time! 🙂

Do you take a nap during the day?

Watch Dr Mednick on YouTube telling us about how to take the best nap.

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

21 Comments on “In Praise of Napping #MondayMusings

  1. I can relate to this post SO much! Love that choice of the pic. I used to enjoy my nap time and even would keep the phone off the hook to enjoy it thoroughly!
    Now my grandchildren rule my clock!

  2. Since I have a 3 year old at home with me all day who refuses to nap, I don’t have a choice or the liberty to take a nap. However, I found the info you shared quite interesting. I also used to consider napping in the day as a sign of laziness. You have made do a re-think. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. I don’t lie down, but my eyes often close after lunch. Also, sleeping in one long stretch only started about a hundred years ago. Before that, people went to bed and woke up at about midnight. The socialized or had a snack, then went back for another sleep. Fascinating isn’t it? So go ahead. Nap when you please. I always say we should listen to our body.

  4. I struggle to nap. My mind decides that’s the time to tell me about everything I should or need to be doing. 🙂

  5. I rarely nap – I don’t find it refreshing, I never had. My son wasn’t a napper either (even when he was young-he would wake up crying and grouchy.) My husband, though – doesn’t do well without his afternoon nap.

  6. There’s really nothing like a cat nap in the middle of the day to re-invigorate you………..Even if you don’t have the luxury of stretching out on a bed, 40 winks in a chair will do.

  7. I often joke that I never outgrew my naps. I continued to nap well past kindergarten, and as I got older, any time my parents would take me somewhere in the afternoon by car, I was out like a light before we even pulled out of the driveway. I’m a nurse, and the best part of the job is that napping on our breaks is highly advised!

  8. I Don’t have this habit, as I have a fear that I may not sleep in the night. I felt that it will disturb my routine of getting up in the early hours. With regular work, there is no choice to nap.. holidays yes ! I do take short naps and feel well rested.. thanks for sharing

  9. I have never been much of a napper but thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. I have cats at home who nap as peacefully as the one in the picture and their expression truly defines peace. (Of course, such a nap is preceded by a wholesome meal of fish) 😀

  10. i have had really weird relations with afternoon napping. i remember in my school days i was more prone to napping around the exam breaks! now i just can’t sleep, rarely over weekends if i’m too bored i can or else just cant nap at all!

  11. Hi! I enjoyed this post. I have never been a nap person. Even in kindergarten, I didn’t sleep, so no star for me. I feel really groggy after a nap, so I just go to bed a bit earlier in the evening if I feel like I need more sleep. I know naps are good for me. I wish I could get into them. Happy napping!

  12. I’m not a napper at all! I wake up really grouchy and heavy headed. The only exception might be when on holiday on the beach. 🙂

  13. Well, since I work full time, I can’t nap as often as I would like to Corinne, but I have been napping a LOT since my surgery last Wednesday! And it DOES help. I am glad someone finally backs me up on my love of napping. 🙂

  14. Corinne like you I had also been told all my life by my mother how sleeping in the afternoon is strictly prohibited and for now I am still continuing in same spirit 🙂 But like Jose my husband also has the exact opposite take on the subject 😛 lets see how long before I get spoiled 😀

  15. Nice post. All alert Ahoy!!
    I am not a nap person but like to retire to bed early at night. The only time I remember I had chronic Napping urge was in school post recess. Afterwards I had this urge to doze off a little in the beginning of seminars or lectures; the best point that in the second half I would be the only one alert while rest would be sulking!

  16. I love naps. I am extremely fortunate that I inherited what my mother and grandmother both possess, the 20 min cat nap gene. I feel exhausted right after dinner, go lay down, fall asleep for 20 minutes, wake up on my own, and I feel completely refreshed afterwards. This didn’t kick in until adulthood, however. When I was a child, a day nap could go on for hours and was very disorienting.

    Great post.

    -Tara

  17. Enjoy your well-deserved rest, Corinne. 🙂 I was never in the habit of napping during the day, but, often doze off in front of the TV at night. 😛 Hubby comes from Italy and they have that same siesta period. Still, he doesn’t like napping either. I have done it on occasion, but it usually makes me groggy and grumpy. It’s a good idea though and I think I should embrace it more often, especially since I’m always up late and don’t get enough sleep.

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