Beat Insomnia by Cutting Out Naps
When we are infants are bodies need a great deal of sleep so that we can grow and flourish. It’s not uncommon for a newborn baby to sleep almost the entire day and evening away. They have nap after nap and as they sleep, their bodies are changing and maturing.
As we grow older we need less sleep. Toddlers are a good example of this. Once a child reaches a certain age, for many around three or four years of age, their bodies aren’t craving the afternoon naps. Instead they go to bed early and sleep ten or twelve hours to awaken ready to take on their day.
For most adults the amount of sleep we need is on average seven or eight hours a night. However, for many individuals who suffer from insomnia, they never get more than four or five hours of sleep each night, some even less.
To counteract this, adults will often take naps during the day. Reminiscent of their childhood days when the naps were a way to reenergize, an adult sees a short twenty or thirty minute snooze in the middle of their day as beneficial. However that short and sweet nap could be the cause of their insomnia.
Sleep fuels our bodies. When we go to bed at night, our body uses that time to rest and revitalize. If we are fortunate, we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Our body prepared for the next twelve or sixteen hours until it’s time for its nightly hibernation. When we decide in the middle of that pattern to catch a bit more sleep, it throws the entire process off. Our body takes that nap to be rest time and even though it’s only twenty or thirty minutes, our body feels full of energy again. That energy will last well beyond the rest of your day. Once you look at the clock and realize that it’s bedtime, your body is still feeding off that earlier nap and the result will be insomnia.
Instead of using that time in the middle of the day to nap you might consider other activities. You can even choose activities that will ultimately help with your goal of getting a complete and restful night’s sleep. Some ideas of alternative activities are:
Take a walk. If you generally nap shortly after lunch, use that time to take a walk outside. Regular exercise is good for beating insomnia and it also helps aid in digestion after eating.
Make a phone call. How many of us have had people we care about complain that they don’t hear from us enough? Instead of napping use that time to reconnect with someone. Talking to those we care about is a great relaxation tool as well.
Take up a hobby. Although twenty or thirty minutes a day doesn’t seem like enough for a hobby, it can be. If you like needlepoint, a few minutes doing that can be very relaxing. If you enjoy golf, buy an indoor putting green and practice your swing.
Although naps are great as a mid day pick-me-up, they aren’t beneficial to your overall sleep pattern. Cut out the nap if you want to say goodbye to your insomnia.