Monday, May 21, 2012

Nap Time

I don't get enough sleep.  At least I often feel like that's the case.

My normal day starts around 5:45 am or before. It's a rare morning when the alarm wakes me up and an even more rare morning when I hit the snooze repeatedly.  Usually those morning follow nights when I've been awakened during the night.

Saturday night/Sunday morning was one of those nights. I got home from an ambulance transfer around 1 am and back up on another call around 4:30 am.

By Sunday afternoon, with temps pushing 90, I was ready for nap.

Ah, napping. One of the most underrated events a human participates in.

Humans represent about 15% of the earthly mammals that are monophasic sleepers, meaning our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness. Yet, young children and elderly persons nap, so sociologist who study this stuff are uncertain which is truly natural.

While a nap doesn't make up for inadequate nighttime sleep, a short 20 or 30 minute nap can improve mood, alertness and performance.

If you're a napper like me, we're in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.

For years I've been able to "power nap" (my term), where I can kick back in my recliner and rest for no more than 30 minutes and be ready to go again.

Yesterday was one of those days where I had a couple repeated 30 minute naps, with about 30-60 minutes in between.

Thankfully those naps didn't effect my ability to sleep the night away.

Here's to being refreshed and ready to face the week!

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