April 10 , 2011
"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap." Carrie P. Snow
Most weeks I read a blog entitled The View from Mrs. Sundberg's Window. Looking out on the world from her home through her mid-western lens gives me moments of wistfulness, insight, and some pretty good recipes at the blog's conclusion. (PrairieHome.org)
Last week she was talking about fighting sleep one afternoon after lunch. Before discovering I had sleep apnea 2 years ago, I was sleep walking much of the day.
In seminary, I struggled with sleepiness from 1:30 - 3:15 Tuesdays and Thursdays in Dr. Siegel's Greek Class, after a rice-laden meal at the old Golden China restaurant in Boozer Shopping Center. Maybe that explains the D I made! On this particular afternoon, Mrs. Sundberg was a bit hesitant to take a nap because " When you have 3 children, a nap is more of a risk than rest. I've woken up with my face painted like a kitten, with a Post-It note reading "Take Me To Your Leader" slapped on my forehead, with all the pillows in the house piled high on top of me. I've been recorded talking in my sleep, videotaped while in the REM phase, and posed like the Statue of Liberty, complete with a turkey drumstick for a torch. While a lot of Americans poke fun at folks who take naps in the middle of the day, I say kudos to all who do and make time for it.
A study of 24,000 Greek folks with no history of heart disease, when they took a 30 minute nap at least 3 times a week, found out they had a 37% lower risk of heart related death.
In a recent study, researchers at NASA showed that a 30-minute power nap increased cognitive faculties by approximately 40 percent
A 20-minute nap improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory. Napping is not only for lazy or depressed folks. Famous nappers include Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci, and Bill Clinton.
A teacher at Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, IL, has taught her students to take "holy naps - spiritual exercises where the students put down their heads, close their eyes and rest in God's presence. They take about 5 minutes for this each day and during this time they are asked to listen to God speak to their hearts. The concept is based on Jesus' words "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." These Holy naps are so appreciated by her students, they beg for them.
Yes, it is difficult to find ways to be quiet in this world, but from all the anger and frayed emotional wiring on display around us, I think we could all use the quiet time. Holy Naps are a simple way to "Be still and know that I am God. ""Psalm 46: 10.
In the last couple of years, I have discovered what several other folks - especially my wife, Donna, have been telling me for years - Take a nap every now and then. You'll live longer." It's true - "You snooze, you gain."
Only………………Let's not try to do it from 11:30 - 12 noon Sunday mornings.