Power Nap


As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do not require much sleep, averaging 4-6 hours of sleep per night, and I am both a night owl and an early bird.  Once I am awake in the morning, I am up for the duration of the day, so, I never have been one given to taking naps.  My daughters both gave up napping completely before they each reached the age of two and maintained sunny dispositions without the extra sleep, so, I think that it may hereditary.  Today, though, my older daughter and I discovered the joy of a much-needed power nap, and its positive effects carried both of us through the rest of the day.

After waving the white flag and admitting that I needed to try another round of antibiotics to recover from this stubborn sinus infection, I also had to admit that even though I have slept more in the past few days than I usually do, I still felt exhausted.  This fatigue was weighing me down and turning a lovely Sunday afternoon into a gloomy exercise of futility, as I could not muster up the physical and emotional strength to do what I wanted to do.  It was frustrating to the least.  Then, my older daughter came to me with a request that ended up being the one thing that I was able to do for myself and for her.

My daughters both spent the night with friends yesterday, and while my younger daughter was still raring to go and went on a play date with a friend, my older daughter came home with me this morning.  When we arrived home, she filled me in on all of the activities from the previous night and said that today she just wanted to spend time with me, so, we talked for a bit and played a board game.  Then, she said, “Mom, will you take a nap with me?”  She is a night owl who needs her sleep, and apparently, she had a late night and an early morning.  Since I was tired, too, I readily said that this sounded like a grand plan indeed.  So, with a cool breeze and warm sunshine streaming through the living room windows, she stretched out her petite frame across my body and snuggled in for what turned out to be about an hour and a half nap.  This was reminiscent of what it felt like to nestle her against me and hold her as she napped as an infant, and that feeling was just as amazing as the actual nap itself.

We both woke up feeling rested, re-energized, and content, and that nap definitely put me in a much more positive frame of mind, which meant that I was more patient, pleasant, and perky, and was able to enjoy the rest of a lazy Sunday and prepare for work tomorrow.  Yes; I am working on Memorial Day, because homelessness does not take a holiday.  I know that power naps are supposed to be about twenty minutes in duration, but the physical, emotional, and mental benefits from our afternoon nap were quite powerful actually.  I definitely can learn a lot from my daughter and need to follow her lead more often.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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8 replies

  1. I have had a sinus infection for four weeks that has caused the same fatigue. I picked it up from another homelessness champion while at a conference. Sometimes I think of sinus infections as “crying” on the inside. Sequester is going to hurt permanent supportive housing funding. Aside from all the other stress with our jobs, we have no control over what Washington is ruining for the homeless with their obstruction.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post and to share your feedback; I appreciate it, especially from a fellow colleague in this labor of love. I like your analogy about “crying” on the inside, as I believe that your body reacts to your emotions, and this has been another wake up call to me to take better care of myself so that I can better take care of others.

      After wading through the Interim Rule and the arrival of Sequestration, I wonder if anyone at HUD and in Congress has ever spent time talking with those of us who work on the front lines in the delivery of homelessness services. Some of the changes and decisions truly boggle my mind, as there is no good rationale for them, and we are left to do even more with even less. It makes me more committed than ever.

      • Not sure if this is just Florida, but we have not received one dime of HUD dollars on our renewals. HUD has not even announced Tier 2 recipients, more less the planning funds to implement the new requirements. Everything is a mess. I had two naps today….;) sleep well!

      • It truly is maddening, and it doesn’t make our work any easier. Glad you were able to get in two naps today, and here’s to sleeping soundly and getting healthy!

  2. Just what you needed! I get up early and go to bed late, so I take naps any chance I get, they are so refreshing 🙂

  3. Another way we are the same as I go to bed late and am an early riser. There is too much to do in life to spend time sleeping! However, I admit that I do take frequent power naps of about 20 minutes, about every second day. They rejuvenate me and allow me to get through the evenings.
    So you must follow the lead of your daughter and do this more often! 🙂

    • Elizabeth, I am glad to know that I am not the only night owl/early worm out there, and I think napping more often is a mighty fine idea indeed. In fact, after a restless night, courtesy of my sinus infection and something that’s troubling me, I may have to take a nap after work. Sweet dreams:)

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