Nap Your Way to a Better You

| by Rebekah Haven, under Wellness

Isn’t it funny how this world just seems to spin our lives into a crazy cycle?! Especially during the summer!! There are always a million and a half things pulling us in all directions. The kids have events taking over every evening, you have a fast approaching deadline at work, and dinner didn’t make it into the crockpot this morning!!! It’s enough to drive anyone bonkers!

In this day and age where everything is available at the drop of a hat, it can be so incredibly easy to fall into the trap of overscheduling our calendars that we forget about caring for ourselves. When we allow our days to be overrun with an “always on the go” attitude, it can be difficult to carve out a few minutes to just sit and reset our minds and bodies. If this is as true for you as it is for me then keep reading…

I’m sure all of you readers know that we humans can overwork every part of our health - both mind and body. We often will hit the “reset” button with our diet and start a 30 day juice cleanse, or revise the New Year’s resolutions to include a more balanced workout schedule. But more often than not, we (and I’m preaching to myself here) tend to overlook tapping into one of the most important health tools we have. REST!! Now I know some of you may be thinking “I get my 8 hours of sleep, so I’m fine” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I have too much to do”. My response to these reactions would simply be this, we can’t do anything properly or timely without the adequate amount of rest. We can’t give our best when we aren’t fully charged. Our bodies were designed in such a way to not only reset, but also to heal with rest. In countries such as China, Italy and Spain, it is a cultural norm for many business to shut down for anywhere between 2-4 hours, allowing employees the opportunity for a nap. If we, especially as Americans, could get our heads wrapped around the benefits and importance of a midday snooze, I know we would all be blown away by how much more effectively we would operate on the day to day.

According to WebMD, taking naps of various lengths will help improve different areas of our mental and physical state. Since most of us won’t have time for more than just a quick 15-20 minutes of shuteye, I’ll stick to mentioning those benefits for now. The first, and probably most obvious benefit, would be letting your brain and body lay down and shut off.  You may still have an agenda running through your mind and that’s normal. But, if you allow yourself to sit back and close your eyes, our brains will eventually be able to slow down and relax! Another benefit found in studies, showed us that with just 20 minutes of rest your brain will become more alert and your mental focus and memory will increase. The third, and most relative benefit I see, is my mood. Most of my simple mood swings decrease substantially and I tend to be a lot more cheerful. These short power naps also help to sustain energy into the evening so you won’t feel the urge to collapse at the end of the day. I don’t know about everyone else, but I would love to make it through my day without relying on a midday pick-me-up from Starbucks…. Sorry Starbucks.

Now, I’m not trying to bash on busy schedules or having a super active lifestyle. I’m a social butterfly and am always looking for what’s next. I know it can be so hard to force ourselves to stop. We start to feel guilt. We’re afraid that not enough will get completed. But in my humble opinion, your best work, best attitude and best efforts will come out with a well rested mind, body and soul.  Just be willing to allow yourself the freedom to let go for a few minutes a day. Go ahead, try it. I bet you’ll notice a difference and feel great! Oh, and on a side note, this works well for kids of all ages too! :)

Please feel free to share how these power naps have bettered your life by commenting below. I truly hope everyone enjoyed this post, and hopefully got a little encouragement. Here at the Woodhouse Day Spa in Cedar Park, we specialize in helping you unwind. So whether you’re beyond due for an empty evening with a glass of champagne, or just want to give it a try, come experience our Quiet Room before your next spa treatment….it’s a great way to Relax, Refresh and Renew!

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