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Mid-afternoon napping is important for health, well-being

Mid-afternoon napping is important for health, well-being

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Donna Ryder

Mid-afternoon napping is important for health, well-being | Donna Ryder, Just A Thought

Early Sunday morning most Americans will lose an hour when Daylight Saving Time begins. I say most because some states don’t recognize Daylight Saving Time.
For those of us who keep our regular, busy schedules and remember to “spring” our clocks forward an hour before we go to bed, we may end up dragging ourselves to church Sunday morning. Some people may even catch a nap during the preacher’s sermon. It has been known to happen. I just hope I haven’t been one of them.
Because it is important to get enough sleep — the Mayo Clinic suggests seven to nine hours for adults each night —  the day after Daylight Saving Time is unofficially known as National Nap Day. It was named such by Boston University professor William Anthony and his wife, Camille, in 1999.
This fun holiday encourages people to take a much needed nap, wherever they may be.
Visitors to Vienna can take that literally.
The Associated Press recently reported that Peter Schurin has opened Reflexia, a business “offering deal-makers, movers and shakers and foot-sore tourists respite.” A half-hour power nap will cost about $15. Reflexia is located behind a Gothic church and surrounded by Renaissance-era houses. Behind its massive arches and thick walls built centuries ago are soft mood music, dim lighting and black leather loungers separated by Japanese folding screens. For those wanting an hour-long snooze, Reflexia also offers a private chamber for about $60.
Those who can’t sleep can play computer games, grab a book off the club room’s shelf or just sit back and relax with a coffee, tea or soft drink and a bite of prosciutto with chunky bread for about $8 an hour.
Schurin describes his establishment as “a fitness center for the spirit.”
Napping has its benefits, including relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood and improved performance, such as quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion and fewer accidents and mistakes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Of course, napping isn’t for everyone.
Some people may feel groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap and they may have trouble going to sleep at night, especially if they have enjoyed a long nap during the day.
The best ways to get the most out of a nap include:
• Keeping it short. About 10 to 30 minutes should be long enough to re-energize the body.
• Taking naps in the afternoon. The best time for a nap is usually midafternoon, around 2 or 3 p.m., according to the Mayo Clinic. “This is the time of day when you might experience post-lunch sleepiness or a lower level of alertness. In addition, naps taken during this time are less likely to interfere with nighttime sleep.”
• Making sure naps are taken in a restful environment — a quiet, dark place with a comfortable room temperature and few distractions.
Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will go take a nap.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.8.13

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