The Value Of Napping

5. The Value Of Napping

For many reasons, our night’s sleep may be inadequate. Our daily activities may involve an extraordinary amount of stress that squanders nerve energy. Heavy body toxicity may unduly drain the body of nerve energy. When any of these conditions render us drowsy, sleepy, listless or “down,” we need a nap. Many people resort to stimulating drinks (coffee, tea, colas) or foods (nonfoods such as chocolate, toxic foods such as meat, etc.) to “perk” them up. Stimulants of these kinds only exacerbate the problem rather than solving it. They further drain nerve energy even though the drain may not be evident at the time.

A nap of from a few minutes to an hour not only rests the body, but it also permits the brain to substantially renew its fund of nerve energy. In many countries around the world, the siesta is a normal practice. A one- or two-hour nap after midday refreshes people in many parts of the world. This napping practice contributes to their health and well-being.

It is said that a half-hour nap during the day is worth a whole hour of sleep at night. There is truth in this. Further, it is better to take an hour for a nap and perform efficiently in the afternoon and evening hours rather than forego a needed nap and drag through the whole afternoon. The added efficiency more than offsets the extra time applied when one is not alert or is not feeling good.

The noon nap originated in prehistoric antiquity. Among the ancient Greeks, the first meal of the day was ordinarily of fruits. This meal was followed by a period of sleep—a nap. When rest and sleep are taken during the heat of the day, the meal is better utilized and the body is renewed. Animals in nature also observe “siesta” during the heat of the day.

The healthful custom of taking a nap after noontide has been largely destroyed by the needs of industrial society. This loss has, to a great extent, contributed to our ill health and stimulative habits that make industrial nations so highly stressed and diseased.

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