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Confession: I'm A Napper

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/2/2010 2:03 PM   :  215 comments   :  15,454 Views

See More: news, confession, fatigue, sleep,
It's true- I LOVE to take naps. I think it comes from my dad, who has always been a napper. My mom used to joke that he could sleep anywhere- on a bus, at a party, etc. The naps never had to be long, but they were (and still are) always a crucial part of his day. These days I'm just like him. That's why I was interested to read a new study that claims and afternoon nap might refresh the brain's capacity to learn, making you smarter.

I remember in the days before I had kids, I would come home from work and sleep for at least 30 minutes before starting on dinner or heading out for a workout. Since having children, scheduling my nap has gotten a little trickier. Fortunately my kids take naps at the same time, so I get at least an hour to myself in the afternoon. And honestly, the first thing I always do is take a nap. I only need 15 or 20 minutes to get me through the rest of the day. But the late afternoon and early evening is often a little rough if I don't get my few minutes of shut-eye.

New research is raising the idea that a long afternoon nap (100 minutes) prepares the brain to remember things. Researchers divided study participants into two groups. Both participated in a memory exercise at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. One group took a 100-minute nap during the break, while the other group did not. The group that didn't nap performed an average of 10 percent worse on the memory exercise at 6 p.m.

The researchers concluded that a phase of non-dreaming sleep the nappers went through improved their memories. They also said that it is important to sleep long enough to give the brain an opportunity to go through the various sleep cycles, because memory boosts happened during certain cycles but not others.

I don't know many people who have 100 minutes of free time to nap in the middle of the day. In fact, I find that if I sleep too long, I end up feeling more tired than I did before I lay down. So 15 or 20 minutes is just right for me.

Are you a napper? How long do your naps typically last? Do you find that they make you more productive for the rest of the day?


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Comments

  • SPICYSAPPHIRE
    215
    I can sleep ANYWHERE; in the car, at the dentist's office, on the couch. I love my naps. - 2/7/2012   9:34:46 AM
  • 214
    I love naps.
    I must nap also due to my health.
    My grandson visited GERMANY and says that they have a nap diet.
    I love that.they nap instead of eating........ - 2/19/2011   2:19:18 PM
  • 213
    I LOVE napping. I only get to nap on the weekend because I am a teacher and I have two very active toddlers as soon as I get home. My husband makes fun of me, but it is worth it because napping is the best! - 5/8/2010   2:34:17 PM
  • TAMIOFTROY
    212
    I have always napped since I was a kid. As an adult I found I could nap when I had an hour lunch, or before going to class after work. On days when I don't work I can nap longer. I always feel refreshed and ready for the rest of the day. Naps are GREAT ! - 3/19/2010   1:06:01 PM
  • BCHERRY36344
    211
    i like to take naps but if i tell my husband i nap during the day he picks on me. If I take a long nap i do feel out of it. - 3/15/2010   9:01:12 AM
  • 210
    I love napping!!! Too bad I hardly get an opportunity to. I always dream about it... pretty bad huh? - 3/15/2010   2:26:25 AM
  • 209
    I find that a good nap after I've been studying for a while helps me remember the information better. - 3/14/2010   9:08:38 AM
  • 208
    I was never a napper before a serious illness 2 years ago. Now at age 63,,Yes yes yes I really enjoy my afternoon "rest" . I go up to my room, turn on a show to catch up on my DVR & generally grab about 45 min or so nap. It is GRAND. I worked for 30+ years so I am loving the luxury of the nap!!!! - 3/12/2010   4:41:26 PM
  • THEDAYDREAMER
    207
    Choose your nap time wisely. Don't nap before you have a lot of work to do, it can make you feel more tired thinking about the tasks after waking up. Do nap before you have to go somewhere, but don't allow much time to sit or use the snooze button. Either way, naps are great to escape from the wife and kids. HA! - 3/12/2010   3:14:18 PM
  • 206
    I LOOOOVE NAPS!! I very rarely ever get to take them, though - but believe me, I think if I could take a nap a day, I probably would =) lol - 3/12/2010   3:09:43 PM
  • ANTIONETTEG
    205
    I love naps! Sometimes all i need is a 30 min nap and im good to go! - 3/12/2010   2:09:22 PM
  • MICHI63
    204
    I love to nap. I would nap everyday if I weren't at work. There's just something about cuddling in to a nice comfy bed and drifting off to sleep with the birds chirping and light breeze that is just so appealing. Love it! - 3/12/2010   1:46:31 PM
  • 203
    Naps can make all the difference in how well the rest of the day goes. - 3/12/2010   7:33:20 AM
  • 202
    I napped more in college but less so now. My husband is vehemently anti-nap at least for himself so I always feel really self concious when I say I need a nap. - 3/12/2010   6:06:38 AM
  • 201
    I've always felt guilty about napping, but have always needed one. Sometime between noon and 3 PM I just crash and if I don't get a nap, I'm groggy and tired all night long. I've always been told I need to quit that and get up and do something and it's just a sign that I'm too fat. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one and that it's not a sign that there's something "wrong" with me. :-) - 3/11/2010   11:45:42 AM
  • 200
    YES! I am a napper. I never used to be before I married my husband (who is definitely a napper!) I feel groggy when i take a mid day nap. It's really hard not to since I just want to snuggle and promise my self I'll just lay there for a while but i usually end up napping...which isn't so good for me. - 3/11/2010   9:05:04 AM
  • 199
    I feel horrible when I nap. It usually takes me at least 45 minutes to fall asleep and once I do I wake up groggy and tired.The only time I've had one successfully is if I am sick or seriously tired...and have the cat (or a small child) sleeping on my lap.
    My husband however is a super power nap kind of guy. He can be awake for over 48 hours as long as he has a few 15 minute power naps throughout the day. - 3/10/2010   12:02:42 PM
  • 198
    i looooooove to nap. i think it would be ideal to take a 45 minute nap every day in the middle of my work day. i have often contemplated sleeping in my car during my lunch break! i've done that a few times when i wasn't feeling well, but i am such a fan of regular napping. 30 minute naps, followed by 30 minute walk would be the ideal way to spend my lunch hour. but somewhere in there, i have to squeeze in my lunch! - 3/10/2010   10:56:47 AM
  • HUMMINGBIRD67
    197
    My Mom always took a nap (and made the 3 of us rest as well). I have recently found I enjoy stretching out in bed with a book during the afternoon and do usually sleep for about 45 minutes or so. I'm glad to find out it is not a guilty pleasure! - 3/10/2010   1:44:12 AM
  • 196
    Naps are wonderful. I don't discriminate either. I can fall asleep anytime and anywhere. It does present a problem when I fall asleep at work. LOL! Long boring meetings are the worse!!!!!!! - 3/9/2010   6:25:45 PM
  • VIBRANTFLAME
    195
    Oh wow this is an eye opener for me. I have always loved having a nap and I always felt there was something wrong with me. I sleep fairly well at night (except for the two or three times I am up to put the babe's soother back in for him), but I often reach a very groggy point in my day and I feel so much better if I take a long nap (an hour at least). - 3/9/2010   5:11:54 PM
  • 194
    I also take naps on most days. I feel so groggy at around 1-2 pm, and if I don't get a little snooze, I am dragging myself to make dinner. I used to be able to take longer naps when the kids were little, but now I have to deal with a snooze on the couch with the kids playing around me. - 3/9/2010   12:19:52 PM
  • 193
    I always needed a nap in the begin of the afternoon... I could sleep from 2 till 4 o'clock on the couch, but I felt crappy when I woke up and craved for sugary foods. Since I changed my eating habits I must say I don't always need my nap anymore... and when I do, I wake up after 20 minutes and I feel great, and ready for action again. - 3/9/2010   11:14:03 AM
  • 192
    Since my kids started school I try to nap between 12 and 2. If I don't, I have no energy after 3. I think it started when I was pregnant with kid #2 and it's been a habit since. - 3/9/2010   8:39:01 AM
  • 191
    When I was a young mother, I used to wish I could take naps. The same feelings continued through my working years. ( Age 25 - 62) I promised myself when I retired, I would find time for a nap. I have done just that! I love my naps. I sleep about 1 to 1 1/2 hours each afternoon. I feel so much better afterward. It seems when 2:00 rolls around, my body says "NAP TIME!" My Grandmother always took naps in the afternoon and when I lived with her in the summers of my teen years, I did the same, took a nap when she did. I feel much better the rest of the day, and it does not affect my sleeping at night. - 3/9/2010   1:39:36 AM
  • KAINE0812
    190
    When I put my son down for his nap, I also nap with him. I know when I go back to work I will miss those naps. - 3/9/2010   12:02:09 AM
  • GENOME
    189
    I would love to nap during the day but it is not allowed. Now, I have dazed off and the times it happened to last more than 2min... IT FELT GOOD! I think it makes sense to let people take a nap at lunch if they choose too. It definitely charges me. I think I would need a minimum of 30min. When I am sleepy driving into work (I leave 5am), I take a 30min nap before I go to work out. That tends to give me energy too. Then breakfast. Then I can start working by 8am! - 3/8/2010   7:47:19 PM
  • 188
    I wish I could find 100 minutes to nap. When I worked outside the home I would be dead tired in the afternoon and would need a shot of cafecito to keep me going. Nowadays, I still feel tired sometimes, but who has the time to get shut-eye. - 3/8/2010   4:55:43 PM
  • DOHAGAN23
    187
    OH my gosh, I thought I was alone. I could nap easily for a couple of hours everyday around 4:00. When I do, I endup staying up very late til about 12 and getting up ealy. NO matter what time I go to bed, I still have trouble getting out of bed. I do feel guilty after some of my naps, and I start "shoulding" myself. I should have done this or that instead. - 3/8/2010   4:22:00 PM
  • 186
    I am a napper. Unfortunately, I general only get to nap on the weekends. I love 90 minutes, but if I can get in 20 minutes, I am happy. Napping never throws off my ability to go to sleep at my regular bedtime. I just feel so much better when I can nap. - 3/8/2010   9:29:14 AM
  • _SPARK526
    185
    Oh, how I WISH I could nap!! My dad was one of those people who would say, "I think I need about 15 minutes now," would close his eyes, and EXACTLY 15 minutes from then, no alarms, would open his eyes all refreshed...I'm STILL in awe...I don't know how he did that :) - 3/8/2010   6:23:48 AM
  • 184
    I take naps when I feel like it really; I dont sleep well sometimes so the next day I just crash!! I usually take 2 hours naps sometimes more! - 3/8/2010   12:02:08 AM
  • 183
    I only get to nap on Sundays and it is for at least an hour. It is a necessary part of my Sunday. When I miss my nap, I can truly tell. Thank God for naps! - 3/7/2010   10:09:54 PM
  • NIKKI0776
    182
    I love taking naps! But I only get to do so on the weekends. I nap for about an hour. Once I wake up I am recharged and ready to continue my day! - 3/7/2010   6:04:02 PM
  • TAMALAMASLAMMA
    181
    OMG...I wish I HAD the time to nap...for even 15 minutes!!! I guess I've always believed if it's not at least an hour, it's not even worth it. Now I'm so busy that my naps only come in when I involuntarily fall asleep at work or at an appointment. Not good, I know.... - 3/7/2010   3:15:52 PM
  • 180
    i truely wish I was a napper on a regular basis. I suffer with insmonia so my sleping patterns are extremely messed up - 3/7/2010   2:25:44 PM
  • CODE7WIFE
    179
    I am such a napper! I would nap every day if I could, but some days just don't allow for it! - 3/7/2010   9:01:50 AM
  • 178
    Definitely a napper, love to nap in the afternoon when I get a little rundown or a little chill. Always feel so much better after - 3/7/2010   2:20:34 AM
  • 177
    Yes, I'm a napper. Mine last anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours depending on how tired I am and how much sleep I got the night before. - 3/6/2010   5:01:44 PM
  • 176
    I have always been a napper; sometimes all I needed was to relaxe and I was up and ready to go again. If I sleep more than 30 minute I feel worse than before. So, I support the 15 to 20 min. naps. - 3/6/2010   11:35:14 AM
  • 175
    I am a napper, too. I need at least 1-2 hours. Unfortunately, I only get that about 3 days a week, since I work outside the home and can't sleep at work. ;) I wish they offered a siesta time! Or even a little meditation might get our minds working better. - 3/6/2010   8:59:17 AM
  • 174
    I regularly take naps. And it doesn't matter where I am or what I was doing? I can fall asleep in a hot second. Recently during a physical, my doctor asked about it and began running some tests. I haven't thought about it as being an issue because I have been napping for as long as I can remember. Well--- It ended up being a symptom of lupus and a Vitamin D deficiency. - 3/6/2010   7:47:31 AM
  • 173
    I wish I could take a short nap at my lunchbreak. I'm usually too wound up to do that. But on my days off, a nap in the middle of the day usually refreshes me. - 3/6/2010   12:39:43 AM
  • NELLETYPES
    172
    I work two part-time jobs and on the days that I have to work both jobs, I get out of job #1 at noon and HAVE to take a nap to make it back to work for 4-11pm. If I don't I find I am hardly functioning! - 3/5/2010   9:40:14 PM
  • 171
    At work, I take a 10 min. nap at lunch time and it gets me through the afternoon. Those naps are the best. I can totally relax and refresh from an otherwise stressful job. - 3/5/2010   8:51:49 PM
  • 170
    After a long hard day I sometimes like to take a nap...I still find I go to sleep at the same time at night...just sometimes I need a reset lol - 3/5/2010   7:53:37 PM
  • 169
    I try not to nap. It keeps me up at night. Now, if something happened to disrupt my sleep the night before, or I got less than 5 hours, I'll probably nap. Especially if I know I'm not going to get to bed when I want to and I need to have a happy face. But in general, not a napper. Once I'm up, I'm up until bedtime. - 3/5/2010   2:01:53 PM
  • 168
    I can't take a nap, even when it sounds like it would help when I have a headache or feel tired. I always wake up and feel worse...then the rest of my day is shot. - 3/5/2010   1:25:31 PM
  • KIRWIN41
    167
    I crave my naps! I don't sleep that well at night, so they are a necessity! Working on the nighttime sleeping problems. - 3/5/2010   12:30:54 PM
  • 166
    I love to nap on Sunday's after church. - 3/5/2010   11:37:51 AM

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