When you look into daytime napping as it pertains to mental and physical health, you'll find a healthy dose of scientific material out there in defense of the practice and in favour of the subject matter. Commonplace somnolent rituals such as siesta and چرت زدن (chort zadan) have made their way across Asia to the Middle East, southern Europe as well as Central and South America. In China a one hour nap after lunch is a constitutional right; and so we think it should be everywhere.
We dearly hope that everyone reading this article has felt the blissful effect of a mid-day snooze; If you have not, however, you may wish to refer to our (not so scientific, yet tried and tested) tips for a rejuvenating nap during daylight hours.
Pick a low traffic area for napping indoors in order to minimize drafts, and to avoid distracting footsteps and slamming doors. There's much more to consider if you are picking a napping spot outside. In parks or fields, be sure the ground beneath you is fairly dry and even. Take your time to remove any twigs or rocks that may put pressure on your back. Beware of the wind; a calm breeze is pleasant but a gust of wind could drop your body’s temperature and disturb your slumber. Finally, a slight downward incline is desirable to keep blood flowing from head to toe.
Light and Shade
Never completely darken the room and definitely avoid direct sunlight. The biggest secret to a refreshing daytime nap is for your body to be exposed to low, consistent light. So when picking the perfect spot, look for a dimly lit corner or take refuge under a shaded tree. Covering your windows with white sheers and surrounding yourself with plants is recommended. Nothing invites sleep more quickly than rays of light passing through green leaves.
Classical music and non-vocal jazz help you focus on their soothing rhythms. However, if music distracts you, opt for some background noise which is still considered better than absolute silence. A consistent hum is pleasing, while diverting your attention from the ringing within your ears, the ticking of clocks, or the dripping of taps. If you are napping indoors, we suggest a white noise app such as Noisli. Outdoors, you will be covered by Mother Nature thanks to cicadas, crickets and wind brushing the tree tops.
Keeping your body temperature just right is the most challenging part of daytime napping. No one wants to wake suddenly to a chill or due to over heating; so wear the right outfit for the season. Socks help moderate your body temperature on cooler days, while breathable linens help your body stay comfortably dry in hot weather. Avoid wearing nylons and synthetic materials that make you sweat when the sun is out.
Cats and Dogs
Snoozing with your furry friend at your side or down by your feet is undoubtedly blissful. Enough said—we clearly recommended this practice.
Before lying down, stand to ground yourself, distributing your weight evenly across the bottom of both feet. Grow tall and extend your back. Relax your shoulders and jaw. Breath slowly, filling your lungs. Repeat for 10 breaths. Your body will be oxygenated and your brain will have a much easier time commanding your body to relax.
Upon waking, drink a full glass of water. Your body tends to dehydrate during sleep and replenishing it with a glass of water will wake you right up.
At The Edward, we encourage frequent daytime naps, and (in our opinion), practice makes perfect. We hope you foster this healthy habit in your own life and experience the abundant benefits of putting it into practice.