Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, we’re told are the keys to health. Well, may I also put in a word for a good night’s sleep, or afternoon’s nap? I’ve just returned from cooking for a week-long retreat at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center in Lake County, a relentless round of breakfast, lunch and dinner. (People have this weird idea they need to eat three times a day! ) My strategy for survival during these long cooking stints is simple, I carve out time every afternoon for an hour or two of rest, including a half-hour nap. These naps put me in a better mood and keep me from getting worn out. And my co-workers appreciate them almost as much a I do! I thank my acupuncturist for reminding me every time I see her of the value of sleep. Because I’m prone to staying up late, I do need reminders that sleep time is not wasted, but makes my waking life more pleasant and productive and almost certainly has positive effects on my long-term health (click here for a recent New York Times article which cites research showing that sleep improves immunity).Viva la siesta!
Gary Alinder, September 22, 2009
Chuck Collison writes to add:
I couldn’t agree more with the need for sufficient sleep. Napping is extremely helpful. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it can completely change ones mood and productivity. I nap often and relish the aftermath of this blissful escape upon waking. Making note that whatever was bothering me, if anything, has now evaporated. It’s like turning off a computer that has begun to malfunction and turing it back on again to find the problem has corrected itself.