In the UK, we are a nation of poor sleepers. According to this report, one in five of us don’t sleep well, and it’s the second most common health complaint after pain. As well as the impact on our Mental Health, The Guardian also reported in November 2016 that poor sleep is costing the country billions.
Which is why, when a national holiday for sleeping in public came about mysteriously in 2011, it would make perfect sense to embrace it. After all, we’re probably already falling asleep on buses and trains given the opportunity, so we might as well take a day to celebrate it (as long as it’s safe to do so, obviously).
According to the National Day Calendar there are different types of naps. Power Naps (10-20 minutes) ideal for a quick ‘fix’ of sleep without the groggy side effects, The Hangover nap (about 30 minutes) long, the one you wake up and don’t know what year you’re in, The Brainiac (60 minutes), which can feel similar to a hangover but is thought to help improve memory, and the California King (a full 90 -minute sleep cycle) which can help you feel efficiently rested.
However, naps can have an impact on how well you sleep at night, so it’s important to think about whether or not having a nap during the day is actually useful in the longer term. Having said that, if you feel the benefit of a daytime nap, especially if you feel you’re sleep deprived – and you feel rested and healthy for it – it makes sense to nap as you need. Power naps are also thought to be helpful in reducing stress, improving your immune system and enhancing memory, as is all sleep.
I talk about the power of naps in my book Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal. The book aims to join the dots between our sleep, dreams and our mental health, specifically how grief shows up, even if no one has died. I explore some of the big myths of sleep, offer a Sleep Cycle Repair Kit including mindfulness activities as well as some top tips to help you decode your dreams.
You can find out more in the video below or order on Amazon.
Remember to speak to your doctor about any concerns you have with your sleep. Happy napping.