We long for those precious moments cuddled under a blanket right smack dab in the middle of the day. Why did we fight them for so long in our youth!? Perhaps we were able to reclaim our love for naps in college, sneaking back to our dorm for some shut-eye between classes. Maybe you still find time in the day for a siesta.
If you are able to fit a blissful snooze into your day, first: Congrats! Second: There's something you should know.
If you're a marathon napper, new research may have you feeling a little deflated. As it turns out, your napping style could actually be harmful to your health. According to The American College of Cardiology, researchers have found that long naps—that's anything over 40 minutes—have been linked to some pretty serious health conditions.
According to the study, these long naps were: “associated with a steep increase in the risk of developing metabolic syndrome—a collection of health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess fat around the waist, and high blood sugar that all increase a person’s risk for heart disease.”
Another culprit for these symptoms? Excessive exhaustion during the day. We work hard, and hey, sometimes a little downtime is all we need to reboot. So take that nap! But, before you lay down set your alarm clock. The research shows that keeping it at 30 minutes (or less), would be best for your health.
Unfortunately, for some of us—if not most—finding 30 minutes in the day for nap time is nearly impossible. But there are other ways to grab a few minutes for yourself to relax and re-energize. Bonus: So far there has been no sign of these alternatives being bad for your health.
Take a few minutes and try these napping alternatives for a midday boost:
Grab a coloring book: Adult coloring books are all the rage. Coloring is also incredibly relaxing, and has been said to help beat stress. On a deadline but suffering from writer's block? Take a mindful minute and grab your colored pencils to get those creative juices flowing.
Sit with your crystals: Many crystals have energizing properties. Keep them on your desk in the office or at home, carry them with you, or wear them as jewelry. Do a little research to find out which crystal is right for you. Need a little burst of creativity or positive energy? Keep carnelian or citrine close by.
Practice yoga: Take a few minutes and get reinvigorated with Downward Facing Dog. Won't quite work in your office? Sneak in a Standing Forward Bend and some chair yoga. Even just taking a moment to sit and focus on your breath should help.