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Patrick Donnelly
09-29-2007, 07:16 PM
I find that whenever I am still for a long period of time, I get drowsy as if my body is saying "You're so close to sleeping, why not go all the way?" Sometimes I succumb and take an hour nap, other times I get up, move around a bit, and then I'm fine.

Should I be ignoring the urge to nap? I would think that if you feel you need a nap, it is because your body actually needs the sleep. Hence, whenever I do take a 'short' nap, I do try to get to bed on time anyway. Or would it be better to stave off the sleepiness and get to bed an hour earlier?

I normally get to bed around 11 PM, fall asleep pretty quickly, then wake up at 7:15. I know the "8 hours a night" rule is completely arbitrary, but it's also more than I've gotten on school nights since eighth grade.


PS: As soon as the public library online catalog is up again I'm checking for a copy of "Lights Out!"...

Jordan Glasser
09-29-2007, 11:16 PM
I find that whenever I am still for a long period of time, I get drowsy as if my body is saying "You're so close to sleeping, why not go all the way?" Sometimes I succumb and take an hour nap, other times I get up, move around a bit, and then I'm fine.

Should I be ignoring the urge to nap? I would think that if you feel you need a nap, it is because your body actually needs the sleep. Hence, whenever I do take a 'short' nap, I do try to get to bed on time anyway. Or would it be better to stave off the sleepiness and get to bed an hour earlier?

I normally get to bed around 11 PM, fall asleep pretty quickly, then wake up at 7:15. I know the "8 hours a night" rule is completely arbitrary, but it's also more than I've gotten on school nights since eighth grade.


PS: As soon as the public library online catalog is up again I'm checking for a copy of "Lights Out!"...

I'd really love to hear what people think about the topic of napping. Most of the problems people have can be solved by sleeping more, myself included, but often that's not a possibility.

As for what works for me, and was hasn't, here's my story. I work early mornings almost everyday, and some nights. Implementing a regular sleeping pattern is impossible, and getting 8 + hours a night is a rare occasion. I often have time to squeeze a nap in between shifts.

Nap more then 2 hours- I'm done for. Feel like crap, can't function, and don't feel right.

Nap between 1-2 hours- Hit or miss. Sometimes I can wake up and function, other times, no chance. Not too sure what the different variables that make it work, and what factors make it fail.

Nap less then 45 minutes- This seems to work the best. But, I have to get up with purpose. If, there's still time to lay low, it's really hard not to dose off again. But, with only 45 minutes, I can feel physically able for just about anything.

Your quote of staying busy, or moving around a bit works for me too. I avoid the urge to sleep. But, if I sit still, it's lights out.

So, as a rule for me, I try not to sleep during the day. If I am too tired, I look for a gap in my schedule, and plan to get a really good night sleep to "start over". If that gap in my schedule doesn't exist, I succumb to a good nap. With results consistent to the above scenarios.

In the last couple of weeks I've had two 4-5 hour naps. That's about the worst feeling ever!!!! But, I guess I needed the sleep. And not too much trouble falling asleep those nights either. Time for me to read lights out, again!!!!! Probably the best book I've read in a while.

I guess after all that, I don't really have any advice. What I tell myself, cause I've experimented over the last couple of months is the following:
Try not to nap.
If I do, keep it short.
If I'm completely messed up, just sleep it off. I may feel like crap when I wake up, but I feel like crap already.......

Mike ODonnell
09-30-2007, 12:33 PM
Love naps...usually it's around 3:30pm if I take a "siesta"....mine are 30-40 min, and do the job. Especially after a workout and/or big meal, feels great. Tip, I do not lay in bed (use a recliner)....otherwise it can turn into 2-3 hours and completely screw up when I go to bed later.

Robb Wolf
09-30-2007, 01:07 PM
Nap when and where you can. Never pass it up! Unless you are driving or something.

Patrick Donnelly
09-30-2007, 02:37 PM
Re: Jordan
I know the crappy feeling you get when the nap turns out longer than you had planned! All groggy, stiff, sweaty, and completely lacking any idea of what's going on. That's why I started using my alarm to try keep my naps shorter.

Jordan Glasser
09-30-2007, 08:01 PM
Re: Jordan
I know the crappy feeling you get when the nap turns out longer than you had planned! All groggy, stiff, sweaty, and completely lacking any idea of what's going on. That's why I started using my alarm to try keep my naps shorter.

I've resorted to that lately, but occasionally I've been too tired to set it.

Scotty Hagnas
10-01-2007, 04:49 PM
I think that when napping you want to avoid getting into a deep sleep cycle - which will happen if you start napping longer that one hour. My experiences w/naps are similar - short naps and I feel good, longer than an hour and I'm wrecked.

Patrick Donnelly
10-01-2007, 05:32 PM
Is it just me, or does "Light's Out!" seem to have a very anti-exercise stance? I'm only about a half hour in so far, but it really seems critical, calling it highly unnatural.

Garrett Smith
10-02-2007, 02:21 PM
IMO, formal "exercise" as we do it these days is highly unnatural.

Movement is highly necessary for health. Strength is necessary for health and function.

So, while exercise as we do it may be unnatural, it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. It's just another "created", attempted solution to regain our health in our highly "created" world.

Much like supplements. Supplements are totally unnatural. If our food/topsoil wasn't so depleted, we wouldn't need them. Due to that fact, I think they have become necessary (much like exercise).

Nikki Young
10-06-2007, 03:14 PM
I was wondering that part of the book myself. When i read it, it was saying that exercise is bad because your brain starts to think you're in danger (eg. running from an animal). I kinda thought though, our minds are pretty powerfull, i think our minds would have the ability to realise that we weren't in danger and we where just going out for an enjoyable run.

Especially in the case of someone who is a daily runner, surely at some point the brain would link up that running = enjoyable, rather than running = danger.

Could be wrong though?..

Patrick Donnelly
10-08-2007, 08:12 PM
After finishing Light's Out... (good read, by the way)

I would think that high intensity exercise followed by breaking an intermittent fast would be a good Paleo approach. Hunter gathers hunted down an animal, killed it (intense "workout"), then chowed down.

Naps weren't covered at all in the book though, which is a disappointment.
I'll just take them as I need to, but try to sleep in a way that I won't need them.

Brian Reckdenwald
01-04-2008, 12:15 PM
If you look at naps from a hunter-gatherer's perspective, they seem pretty realistic. I can imagine a typical day consisting of spending the morning walking around looking for food, followed by a rest period (like a nap), and then hunting for a big meal (like exercise). Obviously it can be said that there was little to no routine to their days, but it seems to me like a nap would be a perfectly feasible thing from an evolutionary standpoint that isn't something to be avoided if the mood arises.


All in all, I say do it so long as it doesn't really interfere with your sleeping schedule at night.

Frank Needham
01-04-2008, 01:49 PM
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that, other than food, sleep is the best supplement one make available for themselves. I'll take it however I can get it and if that means a nap then I'll be cuttin' zzzzzz. I don't get a chance often enough to take them though.