Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11: I Miss My Naps

This is going to be a quick post, because I am packing up for an overnight camping trip and my very first trail race on Sunday. I am soooo excited, but as usual I have a long list of last minute things I have to do (like laundry).

Naps are wonderful things. I never thought it was quite fair that only those too young to appreciate them are the only ones encouraged to take them! That said, it has been over a week now since I have felt the need to take a nap (despite staying up way past my bedtime to get my 31 days posts up)! 

Prior to that, I was napping every day. Sometimes more than once a day. Sometimes all day. And these weren't "catnaps" which found me renewed and refreshed when I woke up ~ sometimes I could barely open my eyes much less drag myself out of bed. I was kind of a hot mess. A hot, tired, cranky mess. 

That exhaustion and the feeling that I could fall asleep standing up at any moment disappeared within days of starting Paleo. I have had days like today (especially with the dreary weather we've been having), that I want a nap. I long to snuggle under the covers and slip off to dreamland for awhile, but I don't need a nap. Even though my energy dips, I am able to push through and stay awake and productive.

To a person who has spent the better part of her adult life (and the latter part of her teens) suffering from sometimes debilitating depression and fatigue, this is pretty amazing. In fact, it is so radically different from my "normal" that I have seriously questioned whether there is something wrong with me. Is that warped or what?

Naps are not a bad thing by any means; in fact, they have many benefits, such as increased brain function, reduced stress, brightened mood and improved memory, among others. Many cultures around the world regularly take "siestas." In China it is common for employees to put their heads down for a post-lunch nap ~ can you imagine if that were the practice here in the states? 

I like the idea that I can still take a little siesta when I feel like it and that it could actually improve my health. But even better, I like the idea that now I can do so on my terms, and not because of a food related crash.

Here is a great article on how naps affect your brain if you'd like to know more!

So speaking of shut-eye, it is time for me to get some...I have a big weekend ahead of me and I don't want to be tripping over any roots or spraining any ankles because I haven't gotten enough!

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