The Power of a Winter’s Nap

This time of year, we can always use a little extra rest. Make it easy with these ideas for daytime napping.

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our house, original photo on Houzz

Winter is a time of hibernation for many animals, and for Mother Nature in general — yet we’re expected to somehow keep up the same pace of life no matter the time of year. Is it any wonder, then, that winter also sees more of us becoming run-down? I say it’s high time we gave in to the urge to rest up and get cozy. Read on for nine ways to tap into the power of napping.

Grant yourself permission to nap. If you’re in the habit of pressing on, even when you’re tired, it may help to formally grant yourself permission to take a catnap from time to time. In fact, if you have a pet, it wouldn’t hurt to take some napping tips from your furry friend. Animals are experts at falling asleep at the drop of a hat! Of course, we can’t ignore all of our duties, but if you make time for napping a priority, you may find that the opportunities to catch a few extra, blissful moments of rest are surprisingly within reach.

See the value in napping. Sometimes knowing we could use more rest is not enough to make us actually prioritize it — that’s when it’s time to appeal to logic. Most of us have at least a sliver of time here and there when we could nap. The key is seeing the value in napping over all of the other things you could be doing. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Catch up on sleep.
  • Keep your strength up during cold and flu season.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Feel emotionally nourished.
  • Wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list.

The Home, original photo on Houzz

Keep napping essentials close at hand. You may want extra pillows and certainly a soft throw or two to cover chilly legs. If light bothers you, toss a silky eye mask on top of the pile. And if you tend to be chilly, throw in a hot-water bottle as well. Stowed on a spare chair or in a basket near your favorite napping spot, these comforts will never be far when you feel your eyelids beginning to droop.

Find some warmth. A sun-filled window, a place beside a crackling fire and a cozy nook are all excellent spots in which to curl up for a long winter’s nap, no matter the time of day. Feeling warm, snug and safe is key to a relaxing nap. If lying in bed during the day doesn’t feel right, sprawl out on a comfy sectional, chaise or window seat instead.

Shirley Meisels, original photo on Houzz

Shut down electronics. One thing to avoid when winding down for a nap (or going to bed) is screen time. Doesn’t it seem like an “essential” email always pops up just when you were about to sign off? Don’t give your tech the opportunity to distract you from your delicious nap — move away from the desktop, close the laptop and put your phone away.

Related: How to Detox Your Bedroom to Sleep Happier and Healthier

Ease into relaxation. Sometimes simply lying down for a nap is not enough to drift off. If you know you could use a nap but your body is resisting, here are a few things to try:

  • Sit in a sunny window or another warm spot for five minutes.
  • Do a few slow, gentle stretches.
  • Sip warm tea.
  • Kick off your shoes and cover your legs with a blanket.
  • Read a few pages from a complicated novel or a boring nonfiction book.

Nanette Wong, original photo on Houzz

Set a timer if you need to. If you napped the afternoon away when you were meant to meet someone at a certain time (but slept through it), you may not be likely to take another nap anytime soon! If you have time only for a quick nap, set a timer on your phone and put it within earshot (but out of arm’s reach) so you can relax, knowing you will get up when you need to.

Rise and shine. Waking from a daytime nap can be jarring. Make the transition back into your daily activities as smooth and gentle as possible to maximize the benefits of your nap and boost your mood.

  • Sip some fresh water with lemon or hot tea.
  • Stand up and stretch.
  • Step outside (or crack a window) and take 10 deep breaths.
  • Grab a pen and jot down anything that sprang to mind while you were resting.

Original article written by Laura Gaskill on Houzz.

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