Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

Friday Wellness Tip: Power Up Your Nap


Spanista Friday Wellness Tip Discovered in The Magazine on Southwest Airlines Flight to New York.

Dear Wellness Seekers,

Friday Wellness Tip: Power Up Your Nap is a Spanista Self Care Essential for 2015.

Got 10 minutes? Want to improve your mood? Want to prevent little disagreements? While flying on Southwest Airlines I had a few minutes between official ‘electronic equipment turn off and landing’ so I picked up The Magazine to scan through its content. I find the editorial enjoyable – down to earth and full of practical tips on a range of subjects beyond the typical travel features. After a few pages I came to a feature titled “Power Up Your Nap”.

The article is based on research from the National Sleep Foundation. Kristen Knutson an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and consultant to the National Sleep Foundation offers, “Research has shown that naps lasting less than 30 minutes increase alertness and reduce sleepiness, while allowing you to be active immediately upon waking.” Why?  Because short sleep segments allow rest but do not allow you to go into deep sleep segments called REM’s – short naps are non Rem, so you reap benefits but do not wake up feeling groggy like when you are in deep sleep.

So is there are good time for a nap? Ms. Knutson offers, “It is suggested to keep the time away from evening sleep hours as to not disrupt your night’s sleep patterns. But what seems to be effective for many is the early or late afternoon, as there is a natural dip in the circadian rhythms that works to counteract those factors.” Another report I read indicates more sleep proves to diminish arguments at home and at work which is noteworthy. How much time would work? Honestly 10 minutes can make a difference! But everyone has to experiment to see what works for them.

Interestingly, I also read recently in a historic biography of Jackie O that the Kennedy family lived by daily naps. She and John as well as extended family members would take a nap after lunch most everyday. This helped them manage their demanding schedules as high-profile political figures ( yes, even while in the White House) so they could endure long days of travel and activity and still be able to participate in command performances night after night.

Every Spanista needs to honor sleep as a means to wellbeing. Now I have been known to indulge in a nap on the weekends in late afternoon before I night out. I picked up this lovely Self Care Nap practice after working with professional friends in Miami who live the wonderful Cuban Culture. When we were collaborating on production projects together we work hard all day – take cuban coffee at around 4 pm – work to six go to the hotel – take a power nap, shower, change and head out for dinner at 9 pm. The power nap was so refreshing and helped me extend the day. I was more alert and productive when often meant business continued into the evening, hosting clients and the like. Of course once I moved out of the Florida these cultural influences diminished until I came to live in Melbourne Australia for periods of time. I have found 10 minutes of closing my eyes anywhere for a Power Nap makes a world of difference. Give it a try?

If you are on a plane soon, read The Southwest Magazine to find this Spanista Friday Wellness Tip: Power Up Your Nap. Ten minutes is all you need. Hope this provides you with a valuable Self Care tip to make 2015 better. Let me know how it works if you give it a try!

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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