This afternoon I came home from a very good day at Trinity Lutheran Church and took a long, luxurious nap that was both needed and nice. I was tired in a good way; we had lively conversation in our book discussion group, wonderful worship followed by “Coffee and Conversation,” and then a visit to a dear lady in a nearby nursing home.
I can remember as a young child simply hating naps. Now as an adult I look at naps as a luxury and take every reasonable opportunity to catch a few extra minutes of sleep. Our culture moves so fast that we’ve lost the concept of an afternoon time of rest and rejuvenation. In fact, Americans as a whole do not get enough sleep and suffer from sleep deprivation.
Our bodies are geared for an afternoon nap. According to an article posted on about.com, most people experience natural drowsiness about eight hours after waking. A nap can restore and rejuvenate a person, along with providing some much needed health benefits. The afternoon “siesta” is still the norm in many Latin American and a few European countries.
Maybe we’d all feel better and be more effective by allowing time for a daily power nap of 15 minutes to an hour in length. God commanded us to observe the Sabbath for our own benefit, but most of us fill those extra weekend hours with other activities. What if we took a “mini-Sabbath” every day in the form of a power nap and a prayer, some quiet time with a cup of tea, or 30 minutes of stretching, yoga, and/or meditation? I’d be willing to bet we’d see a drop in stress and a few more smiles.
As for me, I am thankful for today’s nap. Combined with spending time with God, the good folks at Trinity, and my family, it was a wonderful day and a fine start to another week.
How about you? When was the last time you took a nap?
Photo by In My Eyes Photo used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!