To Nap or Not To Nap


The human body is complex and unique. It can be tricky, but if you pay attention, you will realize that you know your body best.  Your body will tell you if you are hungry or thirsty, if it needs to move or even if it needs to sleep.  It is important to know that you should listen to your body, assess your lifestyle at the moment, and then make the best decision that you can for your body - even if it is outside of what you would consider “normal” for yourself.  

A prime example would be just a few days ago when I chose to take a twenty-five minute nap rather than workout.  As a lifestyle coach, it’s not often that I tell my clients to take a nap, but I’m telling you now that if your body is asking for a nap and your lifestyle warrants it, then you should listen and take that nap.  I had been up since four o’clock in the morning working with clients, only had five to six hours of sleep the past few nights, and I knew that I would need to be up for several more hours that evening in order to get in some time with the family.  My situation on this particular day warranted a quick nap, and I’m glad that I took it.  This does not mean that you should hop in bed every time you feel tired.  You must think about your lifestyle and quickly assess whether or not a nap is truly the best thing for you on that day.

Your sleep pattern, your food intake, and your activity levels are the main factors to consider when determining whether or not a nap is warranted.  First, think about how much sleep you have been getting.  Seven to nine hours is what the body typically needs to function well.  Next, think about what foods you have been using to fuel your body.  It is not uncommon to under-fuel, or not eat enough food, especially when trying to lose weight or start a new diet.  Likewise, too many sugars, an excess of alcohol, or the wrong carbohydrates can cause you to feel tired as well.  Evaluate your recent eating and drinking habits.  Finally, consider what it is you have been doing, both physically and mentally, that has you wanting to lie down and take a nap. A nap is certainly more justified if you have been go, go, go than if you have not.  Once you have assessed these things you can then ask the question - to nap or not to nap?

Everyone deserves a break from time to time.  Everybody needs it.  Even mine.