When I was younger, in my teens, or twenties, I used to believe that napping is a huge waste of time. I used to look at a sign of weakness. If I couldn’t get through the long days without sleeping, then that meant that I wasn’t strong enough to live in the real world.
Even if I was exhausted because of the long hours, waking up at 5 am, and going all the way till 10 pm, I refused to succumb and take a rejuvenating nap in the middle of the day.
Part of it has to be because I grew up in a high-achieving, Type-A personality, perfectionism-seeking family. Which meant that if I did ever fall asleep in the middle of the day, it would result in all of these queries about my health.
“Are you not feeling well? Are you alright? You are still young, you shouldn’t need to sleep in the middle of the day.” And so on.
Finally, In My 30s, I Understand The Power Of A Quick Nap
It took me until this 35th year of life to truly understand the benefits of a good nap. I still work long hours, filled with a lot of creative bursts, writing, editing, and such. Usually, I wake up around 6 am, and I go to bed around 9 pm. It’s still a long day filled with a lot of activity and a lot of mental processing. I am creating all day long.
All of that creativity cannot happen at the high level that I need if I don’t intersperse the hours with a brief nap in the middle of the day.
Nowadays, I have started taking a quick 20-30 minute nap, as soon as I start feeling that lull in my productivity. Interestingly enough, my body and mind are smart enough to realize that I like naps now. And it will start pulling me towards the couch for a nap, at the appropriate time.
There isn’t a specific time when I go nap. But since I work at home, I can let my body and mind dictate the exact time. Some days, I take a nap around 1130am, after waking up at 5 am. And some other times, I will take a nap around 3 pm after waking up at 8 am.
Napping Has Been Proven Essential By Hundreds Of Studies, And Creative Geniuses
If you read anything by productivity gurus online, they all espouse the necessity of a nap in a creative person’s schedule. Be it an entrepreneur or a musician. And if you have read about the daily routines of the creative geniuses that lived in the past, naps are an essential part of their toolkit as well.
So many of my mentors seemed to be begging me to make napping a part of my daily routine. So much so that I decided that I had to try it.
As I said earlier, I used to think napping was a sign of weakness. And if I ever felt sleepy during the day, I would just power through it. Because I am strong, and I am better than my exhaustion. Of course, that is a sure recipe for future burnout.
But nowadays, I am becoming more in tune with my body and mind. And realizing that after 4-5 hours of work, they need a break. And a nap works perfectly for that time of day.
Interestingly enough, I put my head down on a pillow on my couch, close my eyes, and almost instantly, it feels like I am falling down a deep well. I fall so deeply asleep that I can’t even believe it’s the middle of the day. And as if by magic, 15-30 minutes later, depending on how tired I am, I wake up automatically. I don’t even have to worry about alarm clocks with my naps.
My body takes exactly the amount of sleep it needs, nothing more, nothing less.
Napping Extends The Amount Of Time I Can Be Creative In A Day
One of the reasons why I love napping is because it extends the number of hours that I can be creative in a day. I want to spend as much time as possible in a day working on my creative projects. But without a nap, I can usually only do 4-5 hours of work in the morning and then crash.
With a nap, I do the 4-5 hours of work in the morning, rejuvenate and refresh myself with a nap, and then do a few more hours of work after that.
I feel so alive after a nap that I am excited to get back to my desk and put in a few more hours of work. This didn’t happen before. Because I was too exhausted by the time mid-afternoon rolled around. And the rest of the day was spent in a kind of tired haze.
I absolutely recommend napping to anyone who wants to add a few more creative hours into their already tightly packed schedule. Just a 15-minute nap will enhance your productivity and increase the hours worked by a magnitude.
And, I am able to fall asleep at night, no problem. Because the nap usually happens in the middle of the day, giving my body enough time to get tired again. And get ready for a rejuvenating night’s sleep.